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Israeli hospital separates rare conjoined twins

JTA

May 1, 2013 | 10:07 am

A conjoined twin in Israel who was separated in a rare operation was in serious condition.

The Rambam Medical Center in Haifa said the twins were separated last week in a four-hour operation. It was believed to be the first time the separation surgery had ever been attempted in Israel.

One twin, born stillborn, had not fully developed and was fused into his brother’s body.

The survivor, who is fighting for his life, had another pelvis, legs, arms, kidney and digestive system. He also has a heart defect, which is common to conjoined twins.

“This kind of surgery is incredibly complicated, with low survival rates,” said Dr. Ran Steinberg, the head of pediatric surgery at Rambam. “In many cases, as here, the twin also suffers from accompanying heart defects, which further endangers the infant’s life.”

There have only been 150 documented cases of similarly conjoined twins in the last 126 years.

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