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Doctors Use 3D Models of Conjoined Twins to Prepare for Complex Separation Surgery

by • April 10, 2016 • No Comments

Ximena and Scarlett Hernandez.

Ximena and Scarlett Hernandez.

There is maybe no surgical procedure additional daunting or harsh that the separation of conjoined twins, actually with the use of high end 3D innovation. Not only is the surgery being performed on a small infant, that is always delicate and dangerous, but there really is no rule book for separating these children for the reason they are frequently conjoined in completely one-of-a-kind ways. Most birth defects have standard procedures in place that surgical teams can use as a guide. The defects may present in different types of ways, but the basic specialists and surgeries that require to be involved are usually the same. But conjoined twins are really frequently really one-of-a-kind in what parts of the body are connected, what internal structures are connected and what dangers are present when determining how to separate them.

Catalina, Ximena and Scarlett Hernandez-Torres with their mother Silvia.

Catalina, Ximena and Scarlett Hernandez-Torres with their mother Silvia.

It is estimated that one in ereally two hundred thousand sets of twins may be born conjoined, so it is may already an incredibly rare phenomenon. Even rarer is a set of triplets being born with two of the three babies being conjoined, an occurrence that is so rare that there is a one in 50 million accident of it taking place. The last time that this was reported in the United States was back in 1966. But in May of 2015 Catalina, Ximena and Scarlett Hernandez-Torres were born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ximena and Scarlett were conjoined at the pelvis; yet every girl has her own set of legs. This itself is in addition a rarity in conjoined births, with only six percent of them being born connected in this way.

Ximena and Scarlett share several significant organs, which include their colon, their uterus and a single set of ovaries. The two girls every have their own bladders, yet Ximena’s kidneys are attached to Scarlett’s bladder, and Scarlett’s kidneys are attached to Ximena’s bladder. Because they share the same colon, already both girls are being fed via a feeding tube. When the two are separated, the doctors can require to reroute both girls’ kidneys to their correct bladders and can divide the colon between them. The procedure is expected to last between twelve to eighteen hours and involve several surgical teams, which include pediatric surgeons, plastic surgeons, urologists and orthopedic specialists who can require to correct every girl’s pelvis.

Ximena and Scarlett with their father Raul.

Ximena and Scarlett with their father Raul.

The same innovation that has been utilized to turn it into 3D versions of patients’ hearts or internal organs was utilized to generate an interactive 3D version of Ximena and Scarlett’s complex internal anatomy. The doctors have utilized the virtual 3D version of the twins to simulate the surgery, so they understand what requires to be separated and what complications may occur. Not only can this system speed up the different types of surgeries involved in the procedure, but it can manufacture them safer for the patients and is simpler for the doctor. Virtual surgical preplanning, via 3D assets produced by CT scans and MRI data, has seen a lot of use not long ago, as it allows for doctors the accident to understand precisely what they are going to see when they open a patient up.

3dp_conjoinedtwins_rmhc_logoSilvia Hernandez and her husband Raul were told that two of their daughters may be born conjoined only three months into their pregnancy, so the couple has been preparing for this day for well over a year. And while the doctors are really confident that the girls’ separation can be completely successful, that does not mean it is any simpler for their parents. Silvia, who is already staying at a nearby Ronald McDonald House, has sadly not actually been able-bodied to feed her daughters on her own yet, so the next surgery is weighing complex on her.

Ximena and Scarlett's mother Silvia Hernandez preceding she gave birth to triplets.

Ximena and Scarlett’s mother Silvia Hernandez preceding she gave birth to triplets.

“Since they were born, I have been waiting anxiously for them to be separated for the reason I want to hold them separately in my arms and hold them close. But the nearer the surgery day is getting, I don’t want it to take place. But of course I want it to take place so they can have a normal life. My daughters are in hands of God and his can can be done,” the girls’ mother Silvia Hernandez told CBS news.

The team of specialists being tasked with separating Ximena and Scarlett is being led by Dr. Haroon Patel of Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. Most surgical procedures utilized to separate conjoined twins take months of pre-planning, but Ximena and Scarlett’s surgery can be especially complex so Dr. Patel has spent just about ten months preparing for it. The team was planning on the girls being separated last month; yet, they came down with a respiratory infection that postponed it until this week. But, the team is fully made for the surgery thanks to the use of high end 3D software, so they believe that Scarlett and Ximena can be well adequate to go home inside three months.

Here is a few video of the girls in the hospital, and you can store up with their progress on their Facebook page. Discuss in the 3D Surgical Models for Conjoined Twins forum over at 3DPB.com.