Historic Surgical Breakthrough in Harare: Separation of Asymmetrical Conjoined Twin
9 March 2024
Spread the love
medial breakthrough… doctors pose for for pics after procedure

In a momentous occasion for medical science in Zimbabwe, a team of paediatric surgeons, nurses, and junior doctors at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital in Harare has achieved a monumental success by separating an asymmetrical conjoined twin from a two-year-old boy in a four-hour long surgical procedure this Tuesday. The operation marks a significant breakthrough, especially for the boy’s family from Beitbridge, who had sought help from multiple hospitals without success.

Conjoined twins develop from a partially separated embryo, leading to babies connected at various parts of their bodies, sometimes sharing internal organs. The boy was attached to what is termed a “parasitic” twin, an underdeveloped twin with its own set of organs, including a head, bones, and a digestive system, fused to the boy’s liver but with separate gallbladders.

The surgery was critical not only for the physical separation but also for the boy’s future well-being, as the parasitic twin had a significant impact on his health and quality of life. Dr Kudzayi Munanzvi, the team leader, shared that the patient is recovering well post-operation. “The operation took about four hours, and our young patient is recuperating well,” she stated, highlighting the complex nature of the case which included the separation of shared liver tissues and other organs.

The medical team consisted of esteemed members including Dr Precious Mutambanengwe and Dr Brighton Muchini, with Sister Memory Zvikaramba and Sister Shangwa leading the nursing team, supported by junior doctors Dr Munyaradzi Nhare and Dr Chigova. This diverse team worked collaboratively, ensuring the safety and success of the surgery after nearly a month of meticulous planning and investigation.

This groundbreaking operation has not only relieved the young boy and his family from the physical and social burdens but has also demonstrated the remarkable capabilities of Zimbabwe’s healthcare professionals. Dr Munanzvi expressed the relief and joy of the boy’s mother, emphasizing the significance of the operation in alleviating stigma and improving the boy’s life quality.

Looking ahead, the medical team is preparing for another challenging operation involving the separation of fully developed conjoined twins, expected to take around 36 hours with the involvement of over 100 medical professionals. This upcoming surgery underscores the healthcare sector’s dedication and expertise in Zimbabwe.

Past successful separations of conjoined twins at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, including a complex 18-hour operation in 2021 and the separation of twins from Murehwa District in 2014, showcase the advanced medical science and unwavering commitment of Zimbabwe’s healthcare workers to making a life-changing difference for affected families.

The recent operation not only highlights a significant surgical achievement but also brings hope and sets a precedent for the successful treatment of similar complex medical conditions in the region.