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Al-Rabeeah's team to separate Egyptian twins on Saturday.

Byline: Mohd. Rasooldeen

RIYADH: Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah will head the surgical team that will separate the Egyptian conjoined twins Mahmoud and Hassan at the King Abdulaziz Medical City on Saturday.

Rabeeah, who was the chief executive officer of KAMC until he was appointed the minister of health, vowed to continue his contribution toward separation surgeries.

"It will mark the 21st separation surgery in the Kingdom," said Dr. Bandar Al-Ganawi, director general of Medical Affairs of KAMC, adding that the twins were flown in from Cairo on Feb. 10 on the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.

Al-Ganawi said the twins had undergone a series of clinical tests to determine the viability of the separation.

"The tests have shown a 70 percent chance of success," Al-Ganawi said. The operation will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday and is expected to last for 15 hours, he added.

The clinical tests were conducted under the supervision of Al-Rabeeah and the final decision to go ahead with the surgery was made at a special meeting chaired by him on Saturday.

Mahmoud and Hassan are accompanied by their parents. Al-Ganawi yesterday explained to the parents the status of their children and the possibility of a successful surgery.

A rehearsal of the surgery will be held tomorrow with the participation of all members of the medical team.

The surgery will be done in phases that will include anesthesia, sterilization, opening of the abdomen, adhesions of intestines following separation, separation of urinary and genital tract, and pelvis followed by a phased separation of the twins and restoration.

In the latest such surgery in the hospital, a medical team headed by Al-Rabeeah successfully separated Iraqi twins Ayad and Zeyad on Oct. 25.

Al-Rabeeah performed the first separation surgery in the Kingdom on Dec. 31, 1990, at Riyadh's King Faisal Specialist Hospital. The operation, which was successful, was performed on Saudi twin girls joined at the stomach. Since then 13 sets of conjoined twins have been successfully separated under his supervision at the King Abdulaziz Medical City run by the National Guard Health Affairs. The costs of all these operations were met by King Abdullah.

After his appointment as the country's health minister in a Cabinet reshuffle by King Abdullah early this month, Al-Rabeeah said he would continue to lead surgical operations for separating conjoined twins.

"I will find time to participate in the separation surgery which has benefited people from all parts of the world who sought assistance from Saudi Arabia," the minister was quoted as saying.

Copyright: Arab News 2009 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Feb 27, 2009
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