Conjoined Bhutanese twins undergo separation surgery

Conjoined twins to undergo life-changing separation surgery at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital

'We saw two young girls who were very ready for their surgery, who were able to cope very well with the surgery and are now in our recovery doing very well, ' Dr Crameri said.

The 15-month-old girls, Nima and Dawa Pelden, are joined at the torso and share a liver and possibly a bowel, doctors say. It is also possible they share a bowel.

Surgeons in Australia have begun a complex operation to separate Bhutanese conjoined twins.

Crameri said if there were any unexpected problems during the operation, the hospital had all the resources and experts on hand that it would need.

During the operation, the twins' mother had planned to wait at a Buddhist temple and pray. "But there is nothing on the image that suggests that", Crameri said.

"The major challenge today, as we thought, was getting the abdomen reconstructed so both areas were closed over, " he said.

According to Herald Sun, a newspaper based in Melbourne, Nima and Dawa would be taken for surgery after 8am (Melbourne time) on Novermber 9, where they will be known as Green and Red to avoid mix ups.

The girls and their mother, Bhumchu Zangmo, were brought to Australia last month by the Children's First Foundation charity, which said the Victorian state government had covered the cost of the surgery while it looked after transport and accommodation.

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Elizabeth Lodge, from the charity, said Ms Zangmo had felt "a little bit scared", but had shown "extraordinary calmness" before the procedure.

She will spend Friday praying and meditating.

"She still has this extraordinary calmness about her, which is just incredible".

The sisters are in recovery and breathing independently following the operation which involved a team of up to 25 surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists.

About 18 people were in the operating theatre - including Bhutanase paediatric surgeon Dr Karma Sherub, who flew into Melbourne this week.

Sherub first met the girls when they were only a day old and played a major role in getting the twins to Australia, having already spent time in the country as the victor of a medical scholarship.

When they arrived, the medical team said the girls needed to improve their weight and health before surgery.

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