Separation of Conjoined Twins: The Anesthesiologist's Perspective
Zvi Grunwald, Yacov Katz
Dept. of Anesthesiology, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus and Schneider Children's Hospital, Petah Tikva
Managing anesthesia care for separation of conjoined twins poses a special challenge for the anesthesia team. Early preparation, thorough understanding of the anatomical and the physiological consequences of this complex anomaly, as well as careful coordination with the teams of surgeons, nurses and operating room personnel are mandatory to assure successful separation of the conjoined twins. It is recommended that the mother be transferred to and the babies be delivered at a tertiary care medical center, like the Children's Hospital. Special attention is devoted during the surgical procedure to cardiovascular stability, drug disposition, fluid balance and temperature control. The multidisciplinary team approach makes this complex surgery a success. When postoperative survival cannot be guaranteed for both twins, close contact and consultation is mandated with the parents, medical personnel and religious and legal advisors.