Bundles of joy: CT Mom overjoyed after twins conjoined at head are separated

At just four days old, Siphosethu and Amahle were transferred to the hospital after they were born in the Eastern Cape. The twins were joined at the head in what is medically referred to as craniopagus twinning.

Ntombikayise Tyhalisi sits between her twins Siphosethu and Amahle after a successful operation to separate them. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - A set of conjoined twins are healthy and alive after successfully undergoing separation surgery at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Cape Town.

The twins are on Tuesday said to be doing well following the surgery and continue to receive follow up care.

At just four days old, Siphosethu and Amahle were transferred to the hospital after they were born in the Eastern Cape in February this year. The twins were joined at the head in what is medically referred to as craniopagus twinning.

“It’s the rarest form of conjoined twinning,” explained Professor Tony Figaji, head of paediatric neurosurgery at the hospital.

A team comprising anaesthetists, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons and nurses for each child was put together.

“We were fortunate in this case that the connection did not involve any shared brain tissue and didn’t involve major [blood] vessels going from one twin to the other,” said Figaji.

“I am overjoyed! I wasn’t expecting to leave here holding my children one in each arm,” said the twins’ mother, Ntombikayise Tyhalisi.

Professor Saleigh Adams, head of plastic surgery at the hospital said the teams were prepared for a marathon surgery: “We were prepared for a six-hour, at least, surgery. On this occasion, the surgery lasted all of one and a half hours. This is a huge plus for the recovery of the twins.”

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