Separate Siamese twins thanks to 3D printing in Rome
3D printing separates Siamese twins: another surgical miracle.
Siamese twins have been separated thanks to 3D printing. The separation operation on Rayenne and Djihene, coming from Algeria, lasted 10 hours and was carried out by a multidisciplinary team of about 40 people led by Prof. Alessandro Inserra, director of the Surgical Department. 3D models and prints of the twins were produced to prepare the intervention.
3D models and prints of the twins were produced to prepare the intervention. A special procedure made it possible to halve the duration of the operation (on average by 18-20 hours) by reducing the time for girls to be exposed to anaesthesia.
3D organ printing, TAC and three-dimensional resonances are the latest generation tools used by surgeons to study the clinical case and design the separation of siamese twins thanks to 3D printing. During the investigation phase, the structure, organs, vascular network and size of the twins were “replicated” in every detail. Preparation for separation surgery lasted almost one year: 11 months (November 2016 to October 2017) to allow the twin bodies to support such a complex and aggressive surgical operation.
Separation of Siamese twins with 3D pieces
When Siamese twins were separated through 3D printing, Rayenne and Djihene had in common the chest cage and abdominal cavity, the pericardium (the membrane that covers the heart muscle) with two hearts inside and the liver, but with a mirror-like and distinct vascular network that allowed its division.
During the operation, the ribs and liver were divided; the sternum (previously non-existent) and diaphragm were reconstructed; pericardium was divided and recreated with biologically compatible substances; abdomen and thoracic wall were reconstructed; the operation was carried out on Saturday, 7 October 2017 and lasted about 10 hours, 2 of which were dedicated to anaesthesiological preparation, the remaining to the separation of the twins, and the other two were separated.
Doctors had no hope to the twins. The girls’ lives were hung from a thread. Mom and Dad, however, did not give up, they believed