RIYADH: A Saudi medical team, led by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, managed to successfully separate the Libyan conjoined twins following a complex operation at King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC) on Thursday in Riyadh. Dr. Al-Rabeeah, advisor to the Royal Court and Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), said that while the operation was still under way, the twins were lying in separate beds.
The mother of the conjoined twins Ahmed and Mohammed said it was a joy to see they had been separated. “To see Mohammad wrapped separately, I couldn’t believe it, my prayers go to the doctor and his team, may their successes continue,” she said.
A 35-member medical and surgical team began the operation to separate the twins Ahmed and Mohammed in the morning. The success rate of the operation, which takes up to 15 hours and is performed through 11 stages, is estimated at 70 percent. “This case comes from Libya, a country that is enduring big challenges,” Dr. Al-Rabeeah said. “It is due to our leadership’s initiative that the twins are here, to ease the suffering of the twins and of their parents — one of the humane touches of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Dr. Al-Rabeeah said the operation was the 48th to separate twins in the last 30 years and that the cases came from more than 21 countries.
The operation was performed following the implementation of directives of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense. So far in Saudi Arabia, 48 similar procedures have been successfully completed under the Kingdom’s Siamese Twins Separation Programme.
On March 26, 2016, a pair of conjoined twins, barely more than a year old, traveled from their poor town in Pakistan to Saudi Arabia for a rare and risky separation surgery. The two girls were joined at the liver — otherwise their bodies, limbs and organs were separate. Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, 66, the surgeon who led the program performing the surgery, is a former health minister who treats members of the Saudi Royal family. He personally split the liver as five other doctors clustered around, some holding back skin, another cutting and cauterizing, and yet another stitching up arteries to prevent blood loss. Soon, the girls, fully separated, were wheeled out into a hallway to meet their parents in front of a crowd of well-wishers, a Pakistani ambassador, and a TV crew broadcasting live.