A Surgery Plan for Harley and James
Conjoined twins Harley and James have been thoroughly examined by an entire team of doctors at Fudan Children’s Hospital in Shanghai, and the final plan is now in place for their complex separation surgery this Wednesday. Their parents met yesterday with doctors from the Departments of Orthopedics, Anesthesiology, Urology, and General Surgery, and both the hopes and risks of undergoing the surgery were explained to them.
The surgery will begin at 9 a.m. on February 24th, which is 8 p.m. on Tuesday night EST in the US. After the twins are put under general anesthesia, the orthopedic surgery team will do the first stage to separate the boys’ pelvic cavity. As we have mentioned before, the twins share one pelvis.
Following that procedure, the general surgeons will then begin the second stage of the operation, separating their intestine and liver, and giving the boys temporary colostomies.
The third stage of the surgery, done by the urology team, will be the most high-risk part of the surgery. The imaging tests done were unable to show the full extent of the bladder and lower urinary tract involvement in clear detail, so some of the decisions about how to separate them will be made once the urologists are in the operating room. They know this part of the operation will be very complex as they will most likely be combining two surgeries for bladder exstrophy into one.
The surgeons estimate that each stage of the operation will take anywhere from two to five hours, so it will be a very long day for Harley and James, the doctors, and the anxious parents. After the surgery, the boys will be moved immediately to the pediatric ICU for recovery.
We want to thank everyone who has sent messages of support for these beautiful little boys. We have been sharing them with our hospital manager to pass on to Harley and James’ parents. One very special message came from a mom whose twin daughters were born conjoined and who had surgery at the exact same hospital in Shanghai in 2014.
She wrote that her daughters are now “super healthy, thriving girls,” and she wanted to reassure the family that their sons are in very good hands. Isn’t that wonderful?
We will of course post an update on the boys’ surgery to our Facebook page once we have news.
We are so grateful to everyone who has supported this wonderful family and made Harley and James’ operation possible.
Now, let’s get thousands of prayers and good wishes circling the globe on Tuesday evening our time (Wednesday morning in China)!