Bhutanese twins Nima and Dawa are beginning their road to recovery and independent life after they were separated in a delicate six-hour procedure in Melbourne.
The sisters, who spent the first 15 months of their lives joined at the torso, lay metres apart for the first time on Friday after a team of experts managed to successfully separate them.
Up to 25 surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists worked together to split the girls’ connected livers and reconstruct their abdomens, closing over the area that was previously attached.
Head of paediatric surgery Dr Joe Crameri, who led the operation, said the girls were breathing independently and in recovery.
It was hoped they would not need intensive care.
Mother Bhumchu Zangmo, who brought Nima and Dawa to Australia in October, was said to be “very relieved” and filled with joy following the successful surgery.
The girls are likely to spend at least a week in hospital before continuing their recovery at the Children First Foundation retreat in Kilmore, where they were cared for in the lead up to the operation.
The Royal Children’s Hospital is expected to provide a further update on their progress on Saturday.
The procedure and recovery are expected to cost at least $350,000 and the state government has offered to pay the bill.
Other funds raised will go towards the twins’ rehabilitation and return home.