Algerian twins Sarah and Ekram were separated during an eight-phase marathon surgery that began at 7:30 a.m. and lasted until 6 p.m.
The operation was carried out in line with the instructions of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
“The girls currently are recovering,” said Al-Rabeeah, adding that the twins are expected to leave hospital within a few weeks from now. The girls were conjoined from the hip and also shared urinary and reproductive organs.
The girls were flown to Riyadh with their parents on a special medivac plane ordered by the king on March 2.
Al-Rabeeah said that the separation of the two genitals and two urethras was completed in the morning phase, followed by separation of the anus and the lower part of the rectum.
“In fact, the twins were also sharing the lower part of the rectum and the anal canal,” said Al-Rabeeah, adding that the separation of the spinal cord was very risky and took about three hours.
“We started closing the wounds of the two girls at around 3:15 in the afternoon,” said Al-Rabeeah.
The medical team first discussed the situation of the twins and gave a detailed explanation to the parents on the procedure and its stages.
Al-Rabeeah said the twins underwent a series of clinical tests before the actual surgery started.
The total cost of airlifting the twin girls and the surgery including post-surgery bills are being paid for by King Abdullah.
The twins’ parents thanked the king, who they said has “become an instant source of support for such children around the world.”
“We are highly indebted to the king and the Kingdom,” said Hussein Bukhabza, the girls’ father. They also thanked Al-Rabeeah for his support and for his personal involvement in the surgical procedure despite his busy schedule.
Al-Rabeeah is internationally known for his expertise in the separation procedures of conjoined twins. He has so far performed 29 successful surgeries on conjoined twins from 18 countries at the King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh.
Reports of conjoined twins are quite common, but many of them die while separation surgeries are attempted. Actual numbers for conjoined births vary from one in 20,000 to one in 100,000 pregnancies.  About 70 percent of conjoined twins are female, the reason of which is unknown.

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