Arthur and Bernardo, two Siamese twins of 3 and a half years old, could be separated thanks to virtual reality

Sylvie Claire / August 2, 2022

Two Brazilian Siamese twins united at the skull have been successfully separated after multiple surgeries, a medical team said Monday, using virtual reality to train them.
 
After spending most of their lives in a special bed in a hospital in Rio de Janeiro, southeastern Brazil, three-and-a-half-year-old Arthur and Bernardo Lima can now look each other in the face after several marathon operations in early June.
 
Adriel Lima, their mother, wept with relief at the end of the separation: We lived in the hospital for four years, she said in a statement.
 
The separation was made possible with the help of London-based charity Gemini Untwined, which described it as the most difficult ever, as the brothers shared several vital blood vessels.
 
It was without a doubt the most difficult operation of my career, added neurosurgeon Gabriel Moufarrage of the Paulo Niemeyer Brain Institute (IECPN), the hospital where the operation was performed.
 
Nobody at the base thought he would survive. It's already historic that both of them could be saved, he said, adding that the twins were still in the hospital, where they were awaiting a long recovery. We don't know yet to what extent they will be able to lead a normal life, he said modestly.
 
In total, the twins underwent 9 surgeries, including one on June 7 at 1pm, and another at 11pm two days later.
 
To prepare them, about 100 medical team members used a state-of-the-art virtual reality system to recreate the Siamese twins' anatomy before surgery.
 
It's like the space age, describes British neurosurgeon Noor Ul Owas Jeelani of Gemini Untwined.
 
It's great to be able to look at the anatomy and do the surgery beforehand without putting the children's lives at risk ... you can't imagine how reassuring it is for surgeons, he told PA news. Agency.
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