Public Health

18.07.19

London surgeons launch charity to support separation of conjoined twins

Two surgeons behind a life-changing separation of a set of craniopagus conjoined twins at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital have launched a new charity to support similar pioneering operations in the future.

Gemini Untwined will raise funds to carry out medical and scientific research into, and the treatment of, conditions potentially requiring craniofacial or neurosurgery.

The charity is being set up by paediatric neurosurgeon Noor ul Owase Jeelani and consultant plastic and reconstructive surgeon Professor David Dunaway. The pair led the team at Great Ormond Street Hospital behind the successful separation of previously-conjoined twins Safa and Marwa earlier this year.

Fifty sets of craniopagus conjoined twins are estimated to be born around the world each year, though it is thought that only 15 survive beyond the first 30 days of life.

With current technologies, approximately half of these cases would be candidates for successful surgical separation.

READ MORE ABOUT GEMINI UNTWINED HERE

Gemini Untwined, which will operate independent of Great Ormond Street Hospital, will raise much-needed funds to help craniopagus twins around the world. Part of this funding will be used to provide the financial and logistical support to bring twins to the UK and provide them with the expertise of world-class surgeons and cutting-edge research.

Speaking about the launch of the new charity, Mr Noor ul Owase Jeelani said: “These are rare, difficult cases and the lack of funding and logistics can compromise outcomes for these children.

“Gemini Untwined will ensure families who find themselves in such an impossible situation have access to the world class expertise and facilities needed to maximise the chances of a successful outcome for their children.”

Prof Dunaway added: “Craniopagus is an exceptionally rare and complex condition. Gemini Untwined has been established to ensure access to world class care for craniopagus children and to help our understanding of the challenges in treating this condition.”

Gemini Untwined will also aim to advance the health and promotion of the physical, material, mental, and financial welfare of children and their families.

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