Filipino Conjoined Twins Akhizah and Ayeesha Undergo Separation Surgery in Riyadh

Surgery to separate parasitic twin begins in Riyadh
Surgery to separate parasitic twin begins in Riyadh

Filipino conjoined twins Ayeesha and Akhizah today will undergo surgery to be separated by the Saudi conjoined twins program, following directives from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

The complex procedure, expected to last 7.5 hours and divided into five surgical phases, will be performed by a team of over 20 medical and clinical staff at King Abdullah Specialized Children's Hospital (KASCH) in Riyadh.

Leading the team is Supervisor General of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) and distinguished pediatric surgeon Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah.

Ayeesha and Akhizah were born on December 12, 2022, in Davao del Sur, Philippines, conjoined at the abdomen (thoraco-omphalopagus); despite their condition, they are active, healthy girls.

Their journey began when their case was referred to KSrelief by the Mercy Islamic Foundation in the Philippines. On May 5, 2024, Ayeesha and Akhizah, accompanied by their mother and grandmother, arrived in Riyadh by MediVac.

Ayeesha was also born with a cleft palate, a condition that will be corrected after she has fully recovered from the separation.

The Saudi government will cover all costs associated with the girls' surgery and recovery.

In a press statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Dr. Al Rabeeah said the 16-month-old twins are conjoined at the lower chest and abdomen, sharing a liver.

They have a combined weight of 18 kilograms, each with a complete set of upper and lower limbs.

After reviewing the twins' condition, the team determined that a successful separation is achievable.

Dr. Al Rabeeah expressed his deep gratitude to the Kingdom's leadership for the unwavering support of the program. He offered his best wishes for a successful surgery, paving the way for the twins' safe return home to a brighter future.

Ayeesha and Akhizah will be the 61st pair separated by the program's team, and the second pair from the Philippines; the first, Ann and May, who were separated on April 20, 2002, now live healthy and happy lives.

Since its inception in 1990, the program has reviewed cases for 136 twins from 26 countries.