Israeli doctors last week managed to successfully separate a pair of twins conjoined at the head in the first such procedure held in Israel and twentieth in the world.
The rare and complex operation, which took place last Thursday at Be'er Sheva's Soroka Medical Center with the help of international experts, lasted about 12 hours and cost an estimated NIS 7 million ($2.17 million). The operation was deemed a roaring success and the siblings are expected to lead a normal life.
The twin girls were born at Soroka last August conjoined at the back of the head. Dozens of hospital staff accompanied the family from the moment of birth until the day of the operation.
A dedicated task force prepared for the operation for months and the girls went through rigorous cardiovascular and respiratory examinations at the hospital's pediatric division ahead of the operation.
The operating team utilized both 3D and virtual reality (VR) models based off of the twins' CT, MRI and angiographic scans to simulate the surgery ahead of the real thing.
"This was an extremely rare and delicate surgery," director of Soroka's Pediatric Neurosurgery Dr. Mickey Gidon said.
"The upcoming days are crucial as the twins are recovering. Every complication could be dangerous, doubly so when it comes to brain surgery."
Gidon said that the operation went smoothly and dubbed it "the pinnacle of my medical career."