What We Do

Craniopagus twins (CPT) is a term for two independent children that are connected to each other with fused skulls, intertwined brains and shared blood vessels.

How is the work carried out?

When a set of CPT twins are born, the first step is to undertake detailed imaging of their brains, which include CT and MRI scans, as well as functional blood flow studies. In addition, the twins undergo a complete check to ensure that there are no other problems with the rest of their bodies, including a check of their cardiac and renal function. Once this is done, an assessment is made with regards to the urgency for the need of separation. This is primarily dictated by the imbalance of blood supply between the twins. The optimal age for separation is between 6 and 12 months of life.

Once the detailed imaging and assessments are undertaken, the next step is to hold a multidisciplinary meeting with specialists from different fields such as: nurses, allied health professionals, engineers and biomedical researchers. 3D models and virtual reality models are then made and the anatomy is studied in great detail.

In our experience, a safe way to proceed is to undertake multiple-staged operations allowing the two babies to heal and recuperate in between the various stages. The philosophy here is to undertake small steps in separating them and allowing nature to heal the bodies between the surgical steps. In our experience, we typically undertake the surgery over 4 or 5 surgical procedures, with a few weeks in between each stage

Following the surgical process, some time is required for tissue healing and a longer period of time is required for rehabilitation. These children have typically never sat up, crawled or walked before, and as such, an intensive period of rehabilitation is necessary to ensure that we deliver two healthy children back to their families at the end of this complex process.

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