• Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

Turkish medical team separates conjoined twins in 9 hours, breaking world record

ByMadeleine J. Pierce

Jun 28, 2022

ISTANBUL–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A Turkish medical team has successfully separated conjoined twins shortly after birth using a range of innovative techniques, including virtual simulations and 3D modelling. Performed at Acibadem Hospital in Istanbul, the successful procedure set a new world record for the fastest operation of its kind.

“Thanks to our team of dedicated professionals, we were able to separate the twins in a well-planned surgery that took about nine hours,” said Professor Mehmet Veli Karaaltin, who supervised the operation. He is a medical doctor specializing in aesthetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Following the procedure, the twins, who were born together at the sternum but have two hearts, were both able to survive on their own. Born in Algeria, the twins are now in stable condition, where they remain under observation.

Revolutionary methods

Professor Karaaltin’s team included dozens of medical experts and specialists, who used a number of new techniques to carry out the procedure. These included virtual simulations that allowed doctors to predict the effects of the operation in advance.

“These simulations helped us prevent any life-threatening injuries the twins would otherwise have suffered,” says Professor Karaaltin, who has performed a number of successful operations in the fields of micro-surgery and reconstructive surgery.

The procedure also involved 3D modeling of the twins’ skeletal structures and internal organs. Doctors also applied three fabric balloons, which were gradually inflated over a three-month preoperative period.

In another first, decellularized placental membranes, developed in Turkish laboratories, were implanted in patients using the Endo-vision method. “We also created a biocompatible scaffold with a 3D bioprinter that allowed us to reconstruct their anterior chest walls,” says Professor Karaaltin.

Take a medical history

Conjoined twins are thought to be caused by aberrations suffered during embryonic development. The phenomenon occurs in about one in 50,000 births, and most cases – about 60% – result in stillbirth.

Professor Karaaltin’s successful separation procedure has generated considerable excitement in the international surgical community. “We are proud to have made medical history,” he says. “The advanced techniques we used in this operation will undoubtedly save countless lives in the future.”