Based on the directive of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Iraqi Conjoined twins, Zainab and Ruqayah accompanied by their father and family member, arrived by Medivac from Najaf to Riyadh on Friday, 25 June 2010.
During the course of the last few weeks the Medical Team have met, on several occasions, the last being Sunday, 11 July 2010, wherein the team had an extended meeting to discuss the clinical condition and the separation of the twins. The father of the twins also attended this meeting.
Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Head of the Medical Team stated that one of the twins, Ruqayah, has a major anomaly in her head, referred to as encephalocele which means an extrusion of a large cyst filled with brain fluid and the brain stem and cerebellum. This anomaly has created major difficulties to the twin causing respiratory arrest and bradicardia (slowing of the heartbeat) and the Medical Team agreed that this anomaly usually is not compatible with life and this twin is potentially endangering the life of her sister Zainab.
The twin Zainab is stable; however, she also has an anomaly in her brain and spinal column which may cause mental and developmental delay as a result therefore the Medical Team felt that there is urgency to proceed with the separation as twin Ruqayah has required artificial respiration and also is requiring repeated aspiration of the cyst in her brain with each time endangering the life of the other twin.
Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Head of the Medical Team stated that the team decided to proceed with the separation on Friday, 16 July 2010, with an operative risk of 50% and also noted that the other twin Ruqayah has a poor future prognosis. This has been fully explained to the father who has accepted the risk and the outcome and has agreed to the procedure.
The separation will take approximately 12 hours over 9 phases.
The Medical Team pray to Allah the most Merciful and Gracious to give strength and guidance during this complex operation and to uphold the family during this difficult time.