Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated

Sunday, 31. January 2016, 10:10 Uhr

Bern University Hospital has successfully separated premature conjoined twins in cooperation with the Geneva University Hospitals (HUG). These are the smallest conjoined children which have been separated up to now.

The interdisciplinary treatment team shortly after the successful operation

(Photo: Department of Paediatric Surgery, Bern University Hospital).

Paediatric surgeons from the Bern Paediatric Clinics entered new medical territory in cooperation with colleagues from Geneva on 10 December. They successfully separated conjoined twins in a five-hour operation. The two girls born 8 weeks before the due date were extensively conjoined on the liver, but had all vital organs. In the past 30 years conjoined twins were only born and successfully separated two other times in Switzerland.

It is the first successful operation of such small conjoined twins in Switzerland and possibly even worldwide, and therefore – apart from great luck for the parents – a medical sensation. A paediatric surgical team from Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève (HUG) also took part in the operation organised by the Department of Paediatric Surgery at Bern University Hospital.

Birth of triplets
The children were born on 2 December in the 32nd week of pregnancy in a birth of triplets by Caesarean section. The mother’s state of health necessitated the intervention. The third girl was born healthy.

Mother and children were taken care of together by specialised experts from the fields of obstetrics, neonatology, paediatric intensive care medicine, paediatric imaging, paediatric anaesthesia, surgical nursing, paediatric surgery and paediatric heart surgery.