Mum Of Conjoined Twins Nima And Dawa 'Anxious But Confident' About Surgery
The mother of conjoined twins Nima and Dawa is anxious but confident about the surgery to separate her 18-month-old girls which will go ahead this Friday.
Addressing media for the first time, Bjumchu Zangmo said her daughters were holding up well, and that she has "all my confidence" the operation will be a success.
"I'm a little anxious because of the surgery, but at the same time I'm happy that the surgery is happening soon," she told media on Tuesday, speaking through an interpreter.
"I feel the doctors here in Australia are the best in the world, and I have all my confidence that the operation will be successful."
The mother, from Bhutan, said she's "speechless" at the support she has received.
Twins Nima and Dawa are joined at the lower chest and abdomen, and a team at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne are preparing for a surgery that could take anywhere from six to 12 hours.
Up to 50 medical staff could be working on the procedure, with doctors suggesting 20 people might be inside the operating theatre and 30 or more outside.
"All these things are a guesstimate," said Dr. Tom Clarmette, a liver specialist who will be involved in the operation.
"But the imaging seems to be favourable."
But surgery is always a case of "expect the unexpected", he added, which he believes will be the case here. There is a risk of bleeding as the twins are separated at the liver, and the medical team is still not sure how much the girls are joined by the bowel, if at all.
"We feel confident with regard to the bowel that there is sufficient there that if we have to separate, we will be able to do that and still preserve adequate length for both girls," said paediatric surgeon Dr. Joe Crameri.
Surgeons will also spend time repairing the abdomen walls and lower part of the chest, and expect the girls will spend several days in intensive care before beginning a recovery process that could take up to six months.
"I think poor old Dawa is probably a bit sick of Nima trying to push her away all the time," said Crameri, of life after surgery for the girls.
"I think she's certainly looking forward to having a bit of a rest, and not being the one on the bottom all the time. They are siblings after all."
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Photo: Ten Eyewitness News