Updated: 6:25 a.m. ET Feb. 20, 2005
Nasif Hifnawy, head of pediatrics at Benha Children’s Hospital, told Reuters that 10-month-old Manar Maged could move all four limbs and showed no signs of paralysis.
“Manar is now breathing normally and has a normal heartbeat and blood pressure,” he added. The baby remains in intensive care at the hospital, 25 miles north of Cairo, and doctors expect her to stay there for at least seven days.
Manar was born with a rare condition known as craniopagus parasiticus, which occurs when an embryo begins to split into identical twins but fails to complete the process. One of the conjoined twins fails to develop fully in the womb.
As in the case of a girl who died after similar surgery in the Dominican Republic a year ago, the second twin had developed no body. The head that was removed from Manar had been capable of smiling and blinking but not independent life, doctors said.
The 13-strong surgical team separated Manar’s brain from the conjoined organ in small stages on Saturday, cutting off the blood supply to the extra head while preventing increased blood flow to Manar’s heart, which would have risked cardiac arrest.
Benha was chosen for its equipment and proximity to the girl’s family.
Last February, seven-week-old Rebeca Martinez died in the Dominican Republic after surgery to remove a second head.
For a picture:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6998205/