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Brazilian doctors use virtual reality to separate conjoined twins

Rio de Janeiro, BrazilEdited By: Vyomica BerryUpdated: Aug 02, 2022, 05:27 AM IST
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This undated handout picture released by Rio de Janeiro's State Health Department shows Brazilian conjoined twins Bernardo (2-L) and Arthur (2-R) with their parents Adriely (L) and Antonio Lima (R), after the twins' operation at the Instituto Estadual do Cerebro Paulo Niemeyer (IECPN) hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph:(AFP)

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Born in 2018 in the state of Roraima in northern Brazil, Arthur and Bernardo Lima were joined at the top of the head for nearly four years

In one of the most complex surgeries of its kind, Brazilian doctors successfully separated conjoined twins by using virtual reality.

They both were craniopagus twins who suffered from an extremely rare condition in which the siblings are fused at the cranium.

Born in 2018 in the state of Roraima in northern Brazil, Arthur and Bernardo Lima were joined at the top of the head for nearly four years.

Following a series of nine operations culminating in a marathon 23-hour surgery to separate them, the brothers are now able to look each other in the face for the first time.

During the preparation for the delicate final stages of the surgery, members of the medical team created a digital map of the boys' shared cranium.

A virtual-reality, trans-Atlantic, trial surgery was executed by experienced surgeons as a practice which were helped by London-based medical charity Gemini Untwined.

Calling the prep session "space-age stuff," the lead surgeon for Gemini Untwined, British neurosurgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani said ''It's just wonderful.''

British news agency PA quoted him as saying, ''It's really great to see the anatomy and do the surgery before you actually put the children at any risk.''

"To do it in virtual reality was just really man-on-Mars stuff," he added.

One in 60,000 births results in conjoined twins, and only 5 per cent of these are joined at the head, according to Gemini Untwined.

(With inputs from agencies)

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