Conjoined Two-Year-Old Twins Successfully Separated Following 50 Hours of Surgery

Bettina Dizon
Jul 18, 2019
11:05 A.M.

Conjoined twins Safa and Marwa Ullah underwent a successful 55-hour surgery that separated their joined skulls at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.


After over 50 long hours of surgery, conjoined two-year-old twins, Safa and Marwa Ullah from Pakistan, can enjoy independent lives physically separated from each other. The Great Ormond Street Hospital and Children’s Charity recently announced the good news of the operation completed in February.


“I am very happy. With God’s grace, I am able to hold one for an hour and then the other one,” Zainab Bibi, mother of the twins, told BBC. “We are extremely excited about the future.”


On July 1, the girls were released from the hospital following months of medical care. However, to ensure proper follow-up care, the twins are still in London to receive daily physiotherapy treatment. The hospital gave an update of the twins’ current state on social media:

“The future looks bright for both Safa and Marwa. After their separation, they began a carefully planned recuperation process at Great Ormond Street Hospital.”



Safa and Marwa were born in January 2017 via c-section with a rare condition that occurs in only one out of 2.5 billion births. The miracle was that the twins made it out alive after half of those with the condition don’t live for more than a day.

Their family did all they could to secure visas and allocate funds to complete the surgery; and so in October 2018, the twins had their first procedure, which separated their joined arteries. The second thing separated were their blood vessels.

“It was a very emotional moment,” craniofacial surgeon Professor David Dunaway told the BBC. “We’ve been working a long time to get them here. They’ve been through so many operations, and now it’s worked.”



There have been success stories of conjoined twins being separated in the past, including Abigail and Isabelle Carlson who were separated in 2006. Last year, the twins celebrated twelve years of being apart and grew up individually.

Their surgery lasted for 12 hours and involved 17 surgeons before it became a success. Isabelle’s heart was connected to her sister’s chest and had their organs intertwined, making the procedure delicate.

Although the twins don’t recall being physically connected, they remain close to each other and have a tendency to hold hands when in public.

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