Surgery to separate conjoined twins

For everyone who dreams of being a parent, children are a blessing, and no matter what happens, we always want all the best for our kids.

Sometimes, however, things don’t go as we want them to, as is the case for the parents of Vietnamese twin girls Hoàng Trúc Nhi and Hoàng Diệu Nhi. Born conjoined at the hip on 7th June 2019, the two have suffered numerous health problems and are considered by doctors to be an extremely complicated medical case in Vietnam.

Thankfully, their parents and Vietnamese medical workers have never stopped striving to give them a healthy, normal life. This morning, after months of extensive care and research, the two have now undergone an operation to separate them from one another.

An intense 12-hour operation

Image credit: Bệnh Viện Nhi Đồng Thành Phố

Hoàng Trúc Nhi and Hoàng Diệu Nhi were born with conjoined hips in a face-to-face position. Due to this abnormality, the two girls cannot sit up at the same time, and if one wants to move forward, the other has to cooperate and move backward.

Their case is an extremely rare occurrence. Approximately, the chance of twins being born conjoined is only 1 out of 200,000 births, and amongst all conjoined twins, only 6% are joined at the hips as these girls are.

The two girls with their parents
Image credit: Bệnh Viện Nhi Đồng Thành Phố

Now, 13 months after their birth, the twins have been deemed healthy enough to undergo an operation that will give them their own complete bodies.

The operation began at 6AM today and is expected to finish at 6PM. It is split into 3 main stages: a preoperative preparation, then separating the twins’ digestive systems and genitals, and finally orthopaedics – where their bones and organs are corrected.

Image adapted from Bệnh Viện Nhi Đồng Thành Phố

A hundred doctors and medical staff are directly involved in the surgery. Meanwhile, among the counselling team is Dr. Trần Đông A, who was responsible for the legendary surgery to separate the conjoined twins Nguyễn Đức and Nguyễn Việt back in 1988. Back then, that surgery was seen as a major step forward for the medical field of Vietnam, and it remains one of the most well-known cases in the country to this day.

Image credit: Bệnh Viện Nhi Đồng Thành Phố

According to the latest update from the City Children’s Hospital of Hồ Chí Minh City, where Diệu Nhi and Trúc Nhi’s surgery is being carried out, the twins have been successfully separated. All is going as planned, and the patients’ vitals are stable. Doctors are now moving to the third and final stage of the operation.

Netizens show their support

The case of Trúc Nhi and Diệu Nhi has received extensive media coverage in Vietnam and drawn in lots of sentiments from netizens. Right now, thousands of people are flocking to the City Children’s Hospital’s Facebook page to leave comments such as “chúc ca phẫu thuật thành công” (hope the surgery is a success), and “chúc hai bé bình an” (hope the two children are safe)

Image credit: Bệnh Viện Nhi Đồng Thành Phố

Many others are also donating to the hospital to help the girls’ parents pay for the surgery. Netizen Hoàng Thảo, for instance, posted a receipt showing she had donated VND200,000 (~USD8.68), along with the message, “Wishing you all the best <3”

Image credit: Hoàng Thảo

Conjoined Vietnamese twins are being separated

This is one of those wholesome moments where everyone in Vietnam is looking toward one direction and hoping that all the best come to Trúc Nhi and Diệu Nhi. News of their surgery going well so far indeed comes as a relief, and hopefully, we’ll see them making full recoveries in their own healthy bodies in the future.

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Cover image adapted from Bệnh Viện Nhi Đồng Thành Phố

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