Conjoined twins joined at the head have been successfully separated after an epic 10-hour operation.
Syrian twins Tuqa and Yakeen, who shared a skull but not a brain, were operated on after being flown to Saudi Arabia as part of humanitarian efforts.
It took a team of 22 doctors to perform the surgery at the Specialist Children’s Hospital at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City (KAMC) in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on Sunday.
According to a KAMC spokesman, the surgery was actually the fourth and final stage to be performed on the Syrian twins.
The spokesman said: “The hospital has performed preparatory surgeries since April 2014 on the twins.”
Dr Ahmad Al-Furrayan, who was in charge of the operation, said: “The twins were conjoined at the head and that meant this was one of the most complicated and difficult Siamese cases.”
In June 2014, the veins between the twins’ brains were severed and a slice of silicon was inserted between them.
Three month later, the more veins were separated along with a portion of the arteries that carried blood between their brains.
Next the rest of the veins and arteries were separated along with a part of the shared brain.
Saudi Arabia has performed 37 surgeries on Siamese twins since 1990 with cases coming from 18 different countries including Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Morocco and Iraq.
In addition, almost 30 other cases were also treated although it was deemed impossible to separate them by medics.
The costs are being borne by the Saudi government.