Using virtual reality technology, surgeons in the UK and Brazil successfully separated the heads of conjoined twins

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2022-08-04 14:07:52

With the help of virtual reality technology, a conjoined twins in Brazil have undergone successful surgery. Although the surgery took place in Rio de Janeiro, direction came from a team of specialists based at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The groups involved have been experimenting for months with virtual versions of twins, babies Bernardo and Arthur Lima. Using tomography and magnetic resonance imaging technology, the virtual model of conjoined twins has achieved the necessary precision, enough for doctors to experiment with surgery in a virtual reality environment.

According to the fundraiser Gemini Untwined, which funded the one-of-a-kind surgery, it was one of the most complex head separations ever performed. Surgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani calls this an achievement “of the space age“.

The twins underwent a total of 7 surgeries, taking a total of 27 hours and with the help of nearly 100 medical staff. Surgeons from the two countries wore virtual reality headsets, and worked together in a VR operating room; Experts based in the UK have observed and guided the surgeons in Brazil, who directly perform the operation.

Before putting the two babies on the operating table, the doctors practiced for months in a virtual reality environment to perfect their head separation technique. The skulls of Bernardo and Arthur were stuck together, making the surgery unbelievably complicated.

According to data from the US National Institutes of Health, the odds of having a conjoined twins are only 1 in 2,500,000, and only 30% of babies survive in the first month after birth. At four years old, Bernardo and Arthur Lima became the oldest conjoined twins to have a successful surgery.

Using virtual reality technology, surgeons in the UK and Brazil successfully separated the heads of conjoined twins - Photo 2.

Two babies Bernardo and Arthur Lima before surgery.

Talking about the “high-tech” aspect of the head-split surgery, Mr Jeelani told PA media outlet: “It’s amazing to be able to see their anatomy and do the surgery before risking their lives. you can imagine [quá trình đó] How to help surgeons calm down?“.

He continued: “In a way these surgeries can be the hardest of our lives, and being able to perform surgery in virtual reality is like a human working on Mars.“.

In the past, doctors have failed in an attempt to separate the heads of two babies Bernardo and Arthur, when scar tissue prevented the surgery from going smoothly. But thanks to the practice in virtual reality, the doctors were more confident in the actual operation and they successfully separated Bernardo and Arthur.

Currently, the two children are in the process of recovery, doctors will continue to monitor their health status in the next 6 months.

According to NY Post

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