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Home >> Life
UPDATED: 10:13, August 30, 2005
Doctors plan to implant stem cells into separated twins' brains
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Singapore doctors are planning to implant stem cells into the brains of a pair of separated girls from Nepal in two to three years, Channel NewsAsia reported on Monday night.

Ganga and Jamuna Shestra, who had been conjoined at the head before they were 11 months old, were successfully separated in a marathon operation lasting four days in April 2001 in Singapore.

However, the operation left the top of their heads very soft without skin cover.

Doctors hope that the stem cells, taken from their bone marrow and cultured in a laboratory for two to three months, may encourage their own skull bone to grow.

The twin sisters have been back to Singapore for their first formal assessment and will leave for home on September 2.

During their four-week stay here, doctors inserted a tube into Ganga's head to drain the fluid in her brain, which made her head more than double the size of her twin sister's.

Doctors also helped engage Jamuna, who had been reluctant to use her weaker right side, in using both sides of her body. She is expected to walk on her own in a couple of months by wearing proper shoes.

Weighing only 13.6 kilograms and 12 kilograms, respectively, Jamuna and Ganga are encouraged to grow fatter to withstand several big surgeries in the coming years, which are funded by a donation of 65,000 Singapore dollars (about 38,775 US dollars) by well-wishers.

Source: Xinhua

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