In part three of our series, conjoined twins Abigail and Micaela who were born connected at the head at UC Davis Children’s Hospital are given an extraordinary beginning to live separately. With a surgery date scheduled, members of the medical team continue intense preparation for what will be – for most of them – the most complicated case of their careers. From 3D models and mixed reality goggles that map out their complex network of nerves and blood vessels, to choreographed rehearsals in the surgical suite – the preparation is like a dance, with everyone having a clear role and even their own color-coded clothing. Soon, it is the night before the separation surgery.
two babies with two heads. Conjoined will require one major surgery to make them separate. It is highly complicated from healthcare. Point of view is highly complicated from anesthesiology point of view. Not all conjoined twins could be considered for separation. Abigail and Michaela can. The girls were joined by the skull, brain, soft tissues, veins and blood vessels. Their surgery is scheduled to take place at U. C. Davis Children's Hospital on October 24th, when they're just shy of 10 months old. The surgical team it's it's sort of high in your head is clear eyed about the huge amount of preparation to come at UC Davis. That means turning to the best high tech tools pretty much all of the latest technology available. We've had an opportunity to try out and see how it will help us. Neurosurgeons upload the twins, Emery and CT images into a system that creates a three dimensional virtual model, allowing them to explore inside the baby's heads. With the use of mixed reality goggles, you could look from the top, the side, the bottom. You can rotate the three D model. You can walk into the three D model and look backwards to see where you are now they can understand the twins unique anatomy from every possible angle here. The view inside the goggles shows a complex network of blood vessels, which the team will need to detach Ingle and separate. With this clip, Do you think we can get quite proximal? Maybe two clips here eventually is a plan. I think that's what I would dio. There are tangible models to. Luckily, we exist in a time where there is this technology that we can take a CT scan data and then generated through the three D printer Ah three D model of the baby skulls. With these three D models, the team can plan and practice the surgery. Maybe we want to do, like 75% of its in the operating room inside the UC Davis Children Surgery Center, there's custom carts all built in the hallways. Months of preparation culminate in a dry run or final rehearsal on October 23rd, the night before the surgery, Maybe only just coding. Surgeons covered three anesthesia team prepares for any sudden and dangerous complications. Ah, very real possibility. During a procedure as serious as this, there could be significant blood loss on that blood loss. You can't really give toe one child or the other. It could come from either. It could come from both. 123 The babies will need to change position and be turned over several times during the surgery, lifting them head over heels. Any piece of equipment can get entangled. The bodies can get bruised. They could bang against another surface. So we are very careful about how we move patients. That's with one patient. Imagine to patients joined together. The team practices thes precise movements over and over with more than 30 people in the O. R. The team members are divided by color. The leaders neurosurgeon Michael Edwards, plastic surgeon Granger Wong, Anesthesiologist Raj Damn Rate and nursing lead Aida Benitez Don black caps. Not just any black caps. We were the guardians of the babies, so we use guardians of the galaxy hats. The team and purple will take care of Michaela, while Team Orange cares for Abigail. Purple and orange masking tape label the equipment for the two teams in the operating room. It is choreographed much as in a ballet so that everybody knows their role at a given time, and we've undergone rehearsals now for months, preparing for this case. Damn right and Benitez have led the O. R team through the months long planning process. They will serve as co captains in the operating room. Essentially, my job was done. I had gotten everybody to that finish line, and all they needed to do was walk past it. It's now hours before the surgery, the babies have breathing tubes inserted and their mother, Lilia, says a tearful goodbye, Big day is finally upon them.