Gemini Untwined is the world’s leading charity dedicated to the research and treatment of craniopagus twins around the globe.
What we do
Craniopagus twins (CPT) is a term for two independent children that are connected to each other with fused skulls, intertwined brains, and shared blood vessels.
Our mission is to offer hope and medical solutions to challenges faced by craniopagus children and others with complex craniofacial conditions; to further global health equity and access, enabling the treatment of children and the training of medical teams across the world; and to continue to push the boundaries of medical innovation and research.
Established in 2018 by Dr Noor Ul Owase Jeelani, a leading British-Kashmiri neurosurgeon, Gemini Untwined has partnered with some of the world’s most renowned paediatric care facilities to carry out life-saving operations for craniopagus twins.
1 in 60,000
births result in a set of conjoined twins
of those birth are craniopagus twins
How we do it
Conjoined twins are very rare and only five per cent are joined at the head with fused skulls. Of this number, approximately 40%
are stillborn or die during labour, while one third die within 24 hours. Sadly, 78% die by the age of one and 90% die by the age of 10.
We are here to defy these odds
When a set of craniopagus twins (CPT) are born, the first step is to undertake detailed imaging of their brains, which include CT and MRI scans, as well as functional blood flow studies. In addition, the twins undergo a complete check to ensure that there are
no other problems with the rest of their bodies, including a check of their cardiac and renal function. Afterwards, the medical team assesses the urgency for separation. This is primarily dictated by the imbalance of blood supply between the twins. The optimal
age for separation is between 6 and 12 months of life.
Once the detailed imaging and assessments are undertaken, the next step is to hold a multidisciplinary meeting with specialists from different fields, such as: nurses, allied health professionals, engineers, and biomedical researchers. They collate data to make 3D and virtual reality models of the twins’ brains. The multidisciplinary team then studies the anatomy in great detail.
In our experience, the safest way to proceed is to undertake multiple- staged operations allowing the two babies to heal and recuperate between the various stages. We typically perform the surgery over 4 or 5 procedures, with a few weeks
between each stage.
Following the surgical process, some time is required for tissue healing and a longer period is required for rehabilitation. These children have typically never sat up, crawled, or walked before. As such, intensive rehabilitation is necessary to ensure that we deliver two healthy children back to their families at the end of this complex process.
Meet the twins
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