Vietnam praised for successful separation of conjoined 13-month-old twin girls

(VOVWORLD) - Successful surgery to separate 13-month-old twins conjoined at the pelvis on July 15 has drawn great public attention.
Vietnam praised for successful separation of conjoined 13-month-old twin girls - ảnh 1 It takes doctors more than 14 hours to separate the twin girls on July 15, 2020. (Photo:

The case of Truc Nhi and Dieu Nhi, the twin girls conjoined at the pelvis, was extremely rare. Their case was complicated by the fact that the two sisters shared several internal organs.

For example, they shared one ileum, one colon, and one anus. The babies had two bladders, one on either side of their shared abdominal cavity, but each child's bladder was fed by the other's ureter. The two had a double uterus and a double vagina.

Numerous consultations were held throughout the year prior to the final decision to perform the surgery.

The separation surgery was completed  in 13 hours and 40 minutes. The girls’ vital indicators are stable.

Doctor Nguyen Minh Tien, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Children’s Hospital, said, “The babies’  functions, particularly the gastrointestinal functions, the blood bag, and the skin forming a temporary anus, are making good progress. We are keeping close watch on their urogenital system, which so far shows that their urine is as good as the standard set for healthy children.”

Following the separation, the twins underwent additional operations to re-form their digestive system and other organs.

Vietnam praised for successful separation of conjoined 13-month-old twin girls - ảnh 2Professor Tran Dong A at the press conference after the separation surgery for the conjoined twins Truc Nhi - Dieu Nhi. (Photo: 

Professor Tran Dong A, 79, who is famous for being the lead surgeon in the separation of Vietnamese twin boys Nguyen Duc and Nguyen Viet in 1988, said there are similarities between the case of the two Nhis and the first conjoined surgery in Vietnam for Viet and Duc.

Professor Dong A told VOV that at the time of the operation 32 years ago Vietnam was in a difficult period, suffering from an trade embargo and lacking medical equipment.

With help from the Japanese Red Cross Society, who donated medical equipment, we conducted a successful surgery, an extremely difficult one for Vietnam or for any country,” said Dr. Dong A.

He said the surgery for Viet and Duc set a Guinness World Record that no later operations has broken.

Dr. Dong A recalled,  “This was the first operation in the world for a pair of conjoined twins, one of them with cerebral palsy. World medical history has never seen such a prolonged surgery performed on a cerebral palsied child. After Vietnams success, the US followed suit with two more separation operations.”

He said the surgery marked a milestone in Vietnam's health sector, adding, In the 1988 surgery, I was the lead surgeon, but now my associates can do it well. Most of the team members were my assistants and students. Im glad I was strong enough to direct the operation from beginning to end. I wanted to lend my experience to saving those babies.”

The conjoined twins Dieu Nhi and Truc Nhi were lucky to have 4 legs. Viet and Duc, deformed by the Agent Orange defoliant sprayed by the US military, had only 3 legs.