The conjoined Bangladeshi twins joined at the skull, whose separation the Hungarian surgeon team of the Action for Defenceless People Foundation was the only one in the world to agree to undertake, are arriving in Budapest on Saturday. The two-year-old Rabia and Rukia are now coming in Hungary so that the diagnostic and preliminary tests needed for the final cranial separation operation, as well as the special plastic surgery operation to implant tissue expanders, can be carried out at Semmelweis University’s various departments.

The first part of a series of operations that is comprised of three main stages, the endovascular separation of the large veins of the brain, was completed successfully by the foundation’s three-person medical team in Bangladesh in two steps in February and August last year, led by Dr. István Hudák. The Action for Defenceless People Foundation is bringing the craniopagus (joined at the skull) twins to Hungary so that the next stage in the series of operations, the plastic surgery, can be carried out under more ideal circumstances from a professional medical standpoint, and with the most efficient equipment available.

Following lengthy consultations, the foundation and Semmelweis University decided that Rabia and Rukia’s tests and preparations over the upcoming weeks and months should take place at the university’s departments. The final separation of the brain and cranial bones have to be preceded by thorough – pediatric, anesthesiological, radiological and infectiological – examinations and tests, and specially designed tissue expanders used in plastic surgery have to be implanted to stretch the skin and soft tissue parts outside the skull. The latter will be carried out by Dr. Gergely Pataki, the foundation’s plastic surgeon, assisted by a team of plastic surgeons from Dhaka Medical College. In the second main stage of the series of operations, the university will aid the foundation’s doctors by providing diagnostic equipment and a medical support team. The third phase, the main operation for the final separation of the brains and skulls, will be directed by neurosurgeon Dr. András Csókay. The location where this operation will take place has not been decided yet.

The conjoined twins are in good health, and the family is arriving in Budapest filled with hope, but for the time being, they do not wish to make any public statements. They ask that the public and members of the press respect the family’s situation and keep in mind the children’s need for peace and quiet. The Action for Defenceless People Foundation and Semmelweis University will keep the media informed about the progress of the operation.

Zsófia Haszon-Nagy; Action for Defenceless People Foundation
Translation: Tamás Deme
Action for Defenceless People Foundation