Family celebrate successful separation of Siamese twins

The family rejoices after the operation. Photo from

ROME - Two 17 month-old siamese twins, joined at the abdomen and the chest, have been separated in a heartwarming and successful operation requiring more than 40 people at the pediatric Baby Jesus hospital. The parents have thanked Pope Francis, who intervened personally on behalf of the Algerian twins.

 “We heartily thank the Pontiff for the great opportunity he has given us for our little girls. God is still one … when it comes to humanity, there is no difference between religions.”

 Preparation for the operation took almost a year, and in the end it took 10 hours to separate babies Rayenne and Djihene fully. This is the second such type of operation performed at the hospital, with two Siamese boys successfully separated over 30 years ago.

 Due to the technical expertise of the physicians, and the advance of modern science, the operation has been shortened significantly from 18 to 20 hours, to 10 hours. Templates of the girls’ organs were produced with 3D printers before the operation, so doctors could meticulously prepare for the surgery. The girls shared a chest and abdominal cavity but had two hearts and a distinct vascular network which meant they could be separated. After a period of observation, which concluded on Oct. 24, the operation was declared a success. 

 Professor Alessandro Inserra, who oversaw the procedure, has said that “for me the biggest emotion was seeing the two girls smile after the operation and their happy parents.”