Operation Begins On Irish Conjoined Twins

A marathon operation is set to begin on Irish conjoined twin boys in London this morning.

Four-month-old Hassan and Hussein Benhaffaf, who are conjoined at the chest, will undergo the separation surgery in London's Great Ormond Street Hospital. The operation, which is being carried out by world leaders in the field, is expected to last up to 20 hours.

Four surgical teams, totalling some 25 surgeons and experts, will be working on the pair, on a phased, rota basis while the operation is directed by Cork-born surgeon Dr Edward Kiely.

The boys flew to London from their home in Cork last month to prepare for the complex operation. A series of money raising campaigns have been underway in Cork for sometime, where the duo have been dubbed "The Little Fighters".

The operation has in preparation since the birth of the boys in January this year at the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

At the time of the birth Mr Kiely said: “If all goes according to plan the children will return to Great Ormond Street Hospital later in the year. The surgical team here is the most experienced in Europe at assessing and if necessary separating conjoined twins."

The Benhaffafs said this morning they were renewing their appeal for everyone's "thoughts and prayers, which will help sustain our boys and our whole family".

The couple moved their entire family, including their girls Malika (4) and Iman (2), from east Cork to London two weeks ago so they can support Hassan and Hussein throughout the operation and recovery.

They may have to stay in London for up to four months because Hassan and Hussein will require a substantial period of recuperation and may also require follow-on medical treatments.


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