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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Separation 'an amazing moment'

First twin awake after surgery
Second remains asleep
Further tests to be carried out today

"AMAZING." That's how neurosurgeon Wirginia Maixner summed up the moment she knew she and her surgical team had successfully separated conjoined twins Trishna and Krishna.

After 27 hours of surgery, during which she and fellow neurosurgeon Alison Wray had to stop several times to rest the girls' brains, Ms Maixner realised the procedure to separate their conjoined heads was a success.

"Some time in the early hours of Tuesday I looked at Alison and Alison looked at me and I said 'I think we've done it', and that was an amazing moment, I have to tell you," she said today.

"To have struggled for so long, to have worked so hard for what was not just that day, what was a whole two years of work, to be able to say: 'I think we've done it'."

The head neurosurgeon at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital also spoke of the time, during the two years the Bangladeshi sisters were in Melbourne, when she realised they were dying and something had to be done.

"It's absolutely unbelievable, and I think it's a real credit to this hospital we have been able to do what we've been able to do," she said.

"The journey started a long time ago.

"Every step of the way, we've been innovative, we've had to think about the way we do things ... that's where the expertise of the staff has come through.

"I don't think you can possibly imagine how proud I am to have worked with such an extraordinary team."

The test of any child's surgery is how they wake up, and the girls were deliberately not woken straight away, Ms Maixner said.

Trishna was allowed to wake up overnight yesterday.

"She is talking, she is being Trishna, she's behaving the way she always has, she's fantastic...''

But surgeons have "gone slower'' on Krishna, while her body and brain re-adjust.

"Krishna has a little bit ahead of her at the moment,'' Ms Maixner said.

"We would plan to wake her up later today, but it will be a very slow wake-up.''
Read more on the conjoined twins surgery at the Herald Sun


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