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Twins recovering, separately, after surgery. -

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After more than 31 hours of surgery, Bangladeshi conjoined twins Trishna and Krishna are recovering
in intensive care, separately.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: After more than 31 hours of surgery, the conjoined twins from Bangladesh are
now recovering in intensive care.

Trishna and Krishna are in separate beds for the first time in their short lives, but doctors say
it could be weeks before they're sure how well the twins have recovered.

From Melbourne, Rafael Epstein reports.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN, REPORTER: As this unique operation began, yesterday morning the medical team
started handing out details.

TONY HOLMES, PLASTIC SURGEON: We got knife to skin at around about 10 o'clock, so things have only
really been going for a little while.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Last night there was a reminder that it's difficult to tell how long this will

IAN MCKENZIE, ANAESTHETIST: You're sure it's not going to finish earlier than about nine o'clock
tonight, and we thought it might finish with a bit of luck by midnight, but it was quite likely it
could be 3:00.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: The twins, from Bangladesh, were handed to an orphanage soon after their birth.
They turn three next month. This extended bout of surgery caps off several lead-up operations that
had included the separation of some blood vessels.

Yesterday they cut through the skin that connects the twins. Then they removed expanders that had
previously been inserted under their scalps to help grow the skin needed to make their new scalps.
Then the doctors cut through the shared skull bone, as well as what doctors call a small bridge of
connecting brain tissue.

As the physical separation drew closer, the twins' medical condition improved.

IAN MCKENZIE: It's quite clear that they're much more disconnected and they're in better condition.
And we have been holding our breath about Krishna who is the one with the low blood pressure whose
kidney's haven't been doing much because Trishna's been doing all the kidney work. And we're very
pleased that Krishna did finally, sort of only medicos could get excited, very excited that she's
making a little bit of urine.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Separation was completed late this morning and each brain lining was then given an
artificial water-tight seal. And then surgeons started work on reconstructing their skulls and
repairing their newly-separated scalps.

LEO DONNAN, CHIEF OF SURGERY, ROYAL CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL: It's something that has been - for two
years had been planned. And getting to that point when everyone has known these girls as one, with
their individual personalities - to see them as separate human beings is a pretty amazing moment.
... These are once-in-a-lifetime operations that teams would do. So for the hospital, it's a
historic moment; for the girls, it's even a more historic moment.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: Medical teams are still watching for any sign of failing health and possible brain
damage from the operation. But their recovery won't be judged for a few weeks yet.

LEO DONNAN: They've got to recover. Their bodies have to recover from this, and we've got a lot of
unanswered and unknown territory we're moving into. We're always guarded. Everyone will be very
pensive at the moment. They'll take their time, they'll think about it, and there's lots of other
things that have to happen. So there's no one moment of great celebration. There's relief, and it's
nice to know that we're onto the next stage.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: The twins are primarily cared for by Moira Kelly from the Children's First
Foundation. The charity brought them here from Bangladesh.