Turkish doctors successfully separate Cameroonian conjoined twins

Created : 11 Nov 2021
Turkish doctors successfully separate Cameroonian conjoined twins

By. Justin Mays

Conjoined twin sisters Elizabeth and Mary Akwe were successfully separated at an Istanbul Hospital at nine months old. These girls were brought for this operation to Turkey on the initiative of the Cameroonian Presidency.

Acibadem Altunizade Hospital indicated that the surgery was led by doctors, Burak Tander, Serpil Ustalar Ozgen, Agop Citak, Memet Ozek, and Hakan Agir. After the initial preparation and work that took seven months, the 27-hour operation on the lower spinal cord of the girls took place. Dr Memet Ozek highlighted that the operation was very critical because there were four main things to focus on; movement of feet, control of urinary tract, being able to control defecation and the medical stuff also made sure to prevent problems in their future sex lives.

Richard Akwe, the father of the twins was grateful for the operation and indicated that his children had shown a lot of discomfort which resulted from the inability to move freely especially when they were being breastfed. 


The mother of the girls, Anne Caroline Akwe, said that though it was hard, she had remained hopeful and kept breastfeeding her daughters for a year. She also mentioned that their dream came true, thanks to the efforts and success of the Turkish doctors.

Conjoined twins occur when an early embryo only partially splits to form two individuals. Despite the fact that this embryo will develop into two fetuses, they will remain physically attached - most commonly at the chest, abdomen, or pelvis. One or more internal organs may be shared by conjoined twins. 

Despite the fact that many conjoined twins are stillborn or die soon after delivery, breakthroughs in surgery and technology have increased survival rates. Surgical separation of conjoined twins is possible in some cases. The outcome of surgery is determined by where the twins are joined, how many organs are shared, and the surgical team’s expertise and skill.