Conjoined twins with shared heart can't be split (Update)

June 3, 2013
A doctor treats conjoined Palestinian female twins at a hospital in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, June 3, 2013. Conjoined Palestinian twins with a shared heart and other vital organs returned home to the West Bank Monday after Israeli doctors determined they could not successfully separate them. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Conjoined Palestinian twins with a shared heart and other vital organs returned home to the West Bank Monday after Israeli doctors determined they could not successfully separate them.

The mother, Basma Breiwesh, arrived at a Hebron hospital with her conjoined daughters three days after she gave birth at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem. She said she decided to come home after Israeli specialists told her the twins could not be saved.

Breiwesh, 34, said she knew she was carrying conjoined twins from her first trimester but that as a devout Muslim, she refused to abort.

"I am a religious woman and I cannot kill my children in my own hands," she told The Associated Press. "I am happy that I brought them to life, and now it is up to the hands of God to keep them alive."

She said she was treated well in Israel, but she decided to return home to be closer to her four other children.

Roughly one out of every 200,000 live births worldwide results in conjoined twins, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Conjoined Palestinian female twins receive treatment at a hospital in the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, June 3, 2013. Conjoined Palestinian twins with a shared heart and other vital organs returned home to the West Bank Monday after Israeli doctors determined they could not successfully separate them. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Most are stillborn. About three-quarters of conjoined twins are female and are joined at least partially in the chest, sharing organs. Chances of successful surgery and survival are greater if the twins have separate sets of organs, experts say.

The Israeli hospital said Breiwesh's twins shared a heart, liver and other internal organs and would die if separated. Their overall prospects of survival are slim.

"It's a very sad case," the hospital said in a statement. "A top-notch team of experts delivered the twins by cesarean section ... comprehensive tests revealed that, unfortunately, the twins could not be separated."

Explore further: Spanish hospital successfully separates conjoined twins

Related Stories

Spanish hospital successfully separates conjoined twins

March 19, 2012
A Barcelona hospital said Monday it had successfully separated a pair of seven-month-old conjoined twins who shared a liver.

Conjoined 8-month-old US twins separated

November 8, 2012
(AP)—Surgeons at a Philadelphia hospital have successfully completed operations to separate 8-month-old twin girls who were joined at the lower chest and abdomen.

Conjoined twins die in Madagascar after operation

March 23, 2012
A pair of six-month-old conjoined twins who were connected at the stomach, sternum and liver have died in Madagascar two days after a marathon surgery to separate them, their doctor said Friday.

Madagascar hospital successfully separates conjoined twins

March 22, 2012
Surgeons in Madagascar separated a pair of six-month-old conjoined twins who were connected at the stomach, sternum and liver, a hospital official said Thursday.

10-hour surgery separates Brazilian conjoined twins

February 16, 2012
Brazil's conjoined twins Israel and Levi were separated successfully Wednesday at Maternity Hospital of Goiania in a surgery that lasted nearly 10 hours, the twins' doctor told AFP.

Malaysian hospital separates conjoined twins

July 28, 2012
Conjoined 15-month-old twins attached at the pelvis and sharing three legs were successfully separated at a Malaysian hospital in a complex 24-hour operation, reports said Saturday.

Recommended for you

Best of Last Year—The top Medical Xpress articles of 2017

December 20, 2017
It was a good year for medical research as a team at the German center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Magdeburg, found that dancing can reverse the signs of aging in the brain. Any exercise helps, the team found, but dancing ...

Pickled in 'cognac', Chopin's heart gives up its secrets

November 26, 2017
The heart of Frederic Chopin, among the world's most cherished musical virtuosos, may finally have given up the cause of his untimely death.

Sugar industry withheld evidence of sucrose's health effects nearly 50 years ago

November 21, 2017
A U.S. sugar industry trade group appears to have pulled the plug on a study that was producing animal evidence linking sucrose to disease nearly 50 years ago, researchers argue in a paper publishing on November 21 in the ...

Female researchers pay more attention to sex and gender in medicine

November 7, 2017
When women participate in a medical research paper, that research is more likely to take into account the differences between the way men and women react to diseases and treatments, according to a new study by Stanford researchers.

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.