Twins Are Separated Using Virtual Reality Techniques by Surgeons.
After a last risky surgery, twins from Brazil, Arthur and Bernardo Lima, were greeted by a flood of cheers, tears, and applause from family members and medical staff.
After doctors from Rio de Janeiro and London, almost 6,000 miles apart, used virtual reality to treat the conjoined 3-year olds, the boys were separated for the first time.
The complex medical procedure that separated the twins was extremely complicated. They were both born craniopagus and came from Roraima, a rural area of northern Brazil. Their brains were intertwined and they had fused skulls. Conjoined twins are rare in 60,000, and even fewer are joined cranially.
According to medical experts, the procedure to separate the brothers was impossible.
However, the Rio-based medical staff at Instituto Estadual do Cerebro Paolo Niemeyer collaborated with Noor ul Owase of Great Ormond Street Hospital to practice the painful procedure using advanced virtual reality technology.
The procedure involved detailed imaging of both the brains of the boys, including MRI and CT scans. It also included checks on their other bodies. Engineers, health workers, and other professionals gathered data to create 3D models and virtual reality of the brains of the twins. This allowed the teams to examine their anatomy in greater detail.
The international teams spent several months preparing for the procedure, according to Gemini Untwined in Britain, which enabled the procedure and was established by Jeelani (a well-respected British-Kashmiri neurosurgeon).
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According to the charity, this was the first time virtual reality technology had been used in Brazil for such a purpose. The seven surgeries required extensive operating time and close to 100 medical staffers to complete the separation of the twins.