Conjoined twins flown to Melbourne for surgery successfully separated

Conjoined twins to undergo life-changing separation surgery at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital

"There's nothing better with any operation than to be able to go to the parents and say we've been able to look after your child, we've been able to do what we set out to do and that we feel confident that they will be able to recover from this and go forward".

The 15-month-old girls, Nima and Dawa Pelden, had been joined at the torso and shared a liver.

Surgeons have successfully separated Bhutanese toddler twins Nima and Dima.

They were brought to Melbourne with their mother last month, but doctors delayed the surgery until Friday to improve the girls' nutrition needs.

The worst-case scenario would be if the girls shared a component that is vital to both. "But there is nothing on the image that suggests that", Crameri said.

The girls and their mother, Bhumchu Zangmo, 38, were brought to Australia from Bhutan by Children First Foundation, an Australian-based charity.

They headed into the theatre at 8am on Friday, and doctors planned to administer the anaesthestic about 8.45am. Crameri said there were no major problems with the bowel attachment. All the doctors, nurses and surgical equipment assigned to each girl were also colour-coded.

He added that the girls' mother, Bhumchu Zangmo, was "smiling, very happy, and grateful".

She spent Friday praying and meditating.

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Ms Zangmo was said to be "very relieved" by the result of the surgery.

Nima and Dawa have been successfully separated in a six-hour operation.

"She still has this extraordinary calmness about her, which is just awesome".

"We saw two young girls very ready for surgery, were able to cope very well with the surgery and now in recovery doing very well, " he said.

The surgical team will also split in half once the initial separation is complete.

Dr Sherub first met the girls when they were only a day old and played a major role in getting the twins to Australia, having already spent time in the country as the victor of a medical scholarship.

It is hoped the girls will not have to spend time in ICU but they will be closely monitored over the next 24 to 48 hours and are expected to be in hospital for about a week.

About 18 people were in the operating theatre - including Bhutanase paediatric surgeon Dr Karma Sherub, who flew into Melbourne this week.

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