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Conjoined Iranian Twins Die in Historic Separation Surgery - 2003-07-08

Conjoined Iranian twins separated in a historic operation in Singapore have died.

Doctors at Singapore's Raffles Hospital say Laleh Bijani died Tuesday from massive blood loss, shortly after her sister, Ladan passed away.

The 29-year-old sisters were born joined at the head, with their brains very tightly fused. Surgeons spent three days separating the brains by cutting through the tissue "millimeter by millimeter."

Surgeons said they found blood circulation in the brains to be unstable.

Doctors had warned the high-risk separation surgery could kill one or both of the women, or leave them in a vegetative state.

Such an operation had never been performed on adults. Doctors in Germany turned down the surgery in 1996, saying it was too dangerous.

Twenty-eight experts from Singapore, the United States, France, Japan, Switzerland and Nepal participated in the operation.