On 19 April 2005, the mother of Egyptian Conjoined Twins was admitted to King Abdulaziz Medical City-Riyadh (KAMC-Riyadh)
as an emergency case based on a directive from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
. The mother delivered a set of conjoined twins, Alaa and Walaa, by caesarean section with a combined weight of approximately 5 kg. They were fused at the lower chest and abdomen, and there was an abdominal wall defect (omphalocele) with a diameter of 7.5 cm. The twins were cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
A Multidisciplinary Team was formed, headed by Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, and detailed investigations were performed including basic blood work, liver and kidney functions, special diagnostic imaging such as Ultrasound, CT Scan and a thorough work-up of the hearts.
The Multidisciplinary Team has met on several occasions to review the twins, and their investigations have reached the following findings:
1. The twins are fused at the lower chest with fusion of the lower ribs, sternum, and abdomen.
2. The twins share one liver (or fused livers) and possibly the bowel.
3. The twin Walaa has major heart anomalies such as an underdeveloped (hypoplastic) right ventricle, a defect between the ventricles (VSD) and also a defect between the atria (ASD). These anomalies lead to heart failure requiring anti-failure therapy. The twin Alaa has s small defect between the two ventricles (VSD).
4. The respiratory, urinary, genital systems and upper and lower limbs are all normal.
Dr. Al Rabeeah has confirmed that due to the major heart anomalies of the twin Walaa, and to protect the twin Alaa, the Multidisciplinary Team have decided to proceed with the separation of the twins, on an urgent basis, to avoid the impending deterioration of Walaa's heart. The operation is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 25 June 2005 at 7.30am, and is expected to last approximately 10 hours and will be carried out in seven phases.
It is worth mentioning that this is the 10th separation operation of conjoined twins by Dr. Al Rabeeah and his colleagues, the last being the Polish twins, Daria and Olga on 03 January 2005. All previous surgeries have been successful.
Dr. Al Rabeeah, on behalf of this colleagues, stated his appreciation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his fatherly and humane gesture in caring for these and other conjoined twins from all over the world in the Kingdom of Humanity.
Dr. Al Rabeeah further stated his wish for a successful operation and good health for Alaa and Walaa, and asked all people to pray for them, especially in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.