04/03/2015 10:29 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Conjoined Twin Babies Successfully Separated

Conjoined twin babies who shared a digestive system have been separated after surgeons completed a pioneering nine-hour operation.

Doctors originally gave twins Abdullah and Abdulrahman a 60-70 per cent chance of survival before their surgery.

The brothers shared bowels, pelvic bones and urinary systems and were completely dependent on each other's bodies.

The immensely difficult operation - which had nine stages - was carried out by a team of surgeons in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh.

Yesterday (Mon) the boys, from Yemen, were being cared for in the paediatric intensive care unit at the King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh.

Both of the now separated babies - whose age hasn't been reported - are said to be doing well.

A hospital spokesperson said: "The bowels needed to be separated as well as their urinary systems and then the pelvic bones.

"When they were separated they were then divided into two teams to reconstruct the twins."

This separation is the 35th in a series of surgeries performed on conjoined twins in Saudi Arabia since 1990.

Saudi Arabia has a team of top surgeons who have treated 65 twins from 18 countries.

Last week, 10-month-old conjoined baby girls, from Texas, survived a world-first operation to separate them.

Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith Mata shared the same chest wall, lungs, pericardial sac (the lining of the heart), diaphragm, liver, intestines, colon and pelvis.

A team of more than 26 clinicians, including 12 surgeons, six anaesthetists and eight surgical nurses at the Texas Children's Hospital operated to separate the girls.

The 26-hour surgery was the first time twins conjoined at the chest and abdomen in this way had been successfully separated.

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