The more than 12-hour operation that took place at Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheba on Sept. 2 took months of preparation and involved dozens of experts from Israel and abroad, the hospital said on Sept. 5.
“This was a rare and complex surgery that has been conducted only 20 times worldwide and now, for the first time, in Israel,” said Mickey Gideon, Soroka’s chief pediatric neurosurgeon. “To our delight, everything went as we had hoped.”
The surgery involved cranial reconstruction and scalp grafts. The medical staff used advanced equipment and technology, some of which was sourced externally, including 3D modeling, virtual reality, and special monitoring devices, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The procedure specifically used STRATASYS, 3D4OP 3D models based on images from MRI, CT, and angiography scans that replicated the complexity of the connection of the blood vessels, meninges, skull bones, and skin of the twins.
With the help of a VR model, the medical team was able to make simulations of the procedure and plan it in the most exact manner. Additionally, a day before the surgery, dozens of simulations of all the stages of the operation were performed on the models before the surgery.
The twins even went through numerous tests and monitoring, which included their cardiac and respiratory functions, over the past few months before the surgery took place.
On the day of the surgery, a team of 50 medical professionals, including neurosurgery, plastic surgery, pediatric anesthesia, pediatric intensive care, and brain-imaging specialists, was on call, all set for the surgery.
Their bones were separated after the blood vessels, and a set of doctors split into two separate teams and rooms before performing a reconstruction of the skull on each of the girls and closing their skin.
Photos from the hospital show the twins, whose names haven’t been revealed, in their cots with bandages on their heads.
“They are recovering nicely. They are breathing and eating on their own,” the head of Soroka’s plastic surgery department Eldad Silberstein told Israel’s Channel 12 news.
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Reuters contributed to this report.