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Thailand Claims World’s First Successful Heart Separation in Siamese Twin

Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital Thursday claimed to have carried out the world's first successful heart surgery to separate Siamese twins//.

Doctor Mongkol Laohapensaeng said the 12-hour operation was performed at Siriraj Hospital on February 20 by a team of 61 Thai doctors and nurses and more than 50 days later the separated twins were still in stable condition.

'This was the first time in the world that doctors have successfully separated Siamese twins joined by their hearts in which both survived the operation,' said Laohapensaeng, a pediatrician at the hospital.

The conjoined twins were born at Siriraj Hospital in June last year, with separate hearts and organs but linked together.

The hospital, with the consent of the parents, decided to attempt to separate the twins after trials suggested they could repair the conjoined hearts and livers to function properly after the operation.

It is usual for Siamese twins to die young or if separated surgically for only one to survive, said Mongkol.

Thailand, formerly called Siam, can boast of the world's 'original' Siamese twins, named Eng and Chang.

The conjoined brothers, born in 1811 in Samut Songkram province, became world famous when they traveled to the US where they eventually married American brides and changed their names to Chang Bunker and Eng Bunker.

Never separated, they died in 1874.


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