Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UCLA Surgeons Complete Skin Expansion Procedure On Conjoined Twins

Date:
June 27, 2002
Source:
University Of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Doctors at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital completed a skin expansion procedure at 3:30 p.m. on June 24 on Maria Teresa and Maria de Jesus Quiej-Alvarez, 11-month-old twins joined at the skull. UCLA plastic surgeons implanted balloons under the babies' scalps to stretch the skin enough to cover their heads after their separation surgery next month.

Doctors at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital completed a skin expansion procedure at 3:30 p.m. on June 24 on Maria Teresa and Maria de Jesus Quiej-Alvarez, 11-month-old twins joined at the skull. UCLA plastic surgeons implanted balloons under the babies' scalps to stretch the skin enough to cover their heads after their separation surgery next month.

Related Articles


"This was almost a dress rehearsal for the twins' longer surgeries next month," explained UCLA plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Henry Kawamoto Jr., who conducted the 75-minute skin expansion procedure. "The time was well spent discussing what we'll need to do next time and the type of supplies we'll require in the operating room."

Both twins responded well to the anesthesia and surgery. Surgeons encountered a minor problem, however, when inserting one of the four expander balloons.

"The skin in one spot was very thin, and the scalp tore slightly in the groove between their heads," said Kawamoto. "We stitched the wound together, but we will not be able to expand the scalp there until the skin heals."

Surgeons inflated the three remaining balloons with saline solution. Still, UCLA will postpone the separation surgery until the torn tissue heals and is able to be stretched. Doctors do not know how long the delay will be. Because the twins will remain in the hospital, however, Kawamoto will be able to monitor the babies on a daily basis.

Prepping the babies for surgery lasted two hours. After anesthesia, the doctors faced the dilemma of how to best position the twins to gain access to their heads for surgery. After much discussion, the doctors rested one twin on her back, facing up, and the other twin on her abdomen, her face cradled in an open cushion shaped like a donut.

After shaving the infants' hair, the doctors used an ultrasound wand on the girls' heads to detect major blood vessels. These were inked in red on their scalp so surgeons would know where to avoid performing the incision. "Overall, everything went exactly as it should have," said Dr. Barbara Van De Wiele, chief anesthesiologist on the case. "We're very pleased."

UCLA plastic surgeons made a tiny incision on one side of the babies' heads, between their ears. In the small groove separating the twins' heads, Kawamoto threaded two eight-inch long silicone balloons around each girl's head, creating a bulging halo effect under their scalps. The end of the balloon runs into a slender hose with a self-sealing valve. Twice a day, doctors will inject saline solution into the valve.

Tissue expansion enables the body to "grow" extra skin for use in reconstructing almost any part of the body. Surgeons prefer to use tissue expansion to reconstruct parts of the scalp, where hair growth makes it difficult to replace lost tissue with skin from elsewhere on the body. Even after stretching, skin from the scalp retains its ability to generate natural hair growth. In addition, the skin is less likely to die because it remains connected to the scalp's own blood and nerve supply.

The Quiej-Alvarez twins were born in a small hospital in Guatemala on July 25, 2001. The hospital called the Guatemalan Pediatric Foundation, which contacted Healing the Children, a nonprofit group that finds medical care for children in underdeveloped countries. The organization approached UCLA pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Jorge Lazareff, one of their volunteer physicians, for aid in accepting the twins' cases. Lazareff and Kawamoto are leading the team of UCLA physicians, nurses and medical staff who will treat the twins. The twins arrived in Los Angeles with their mother, Leticia Alba Alvarez, on June 7.

Craniopagus twins — those who are fused at the tops of their heads — are one of the rarest types of conjoined twins. An estimated two percent of conjoined twins are craniopagus.

###

In addition to Lazareff and Kawamoto — who are donating their services — a team of more than 50 UCLA physicians, nurses, residents and staff will ultimately be involved in the twins' cases. Mattel Children's Hospital expects the babies' care to cost upwards of $1.5 million. To recover some of these expenses, the hospital has established a fund called Twins Care at UCLA. Checks payable to UCLA Foundation may be mailed to UCLA Medical Sciences Development, 10945 Le Conte Ave., Ste. 3132, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

Healing the Children is also accepting donations on behalf of the twins at Box 221478, Newhall, CA 91322. See http://www.healingchildren.org for more details.

For pictures and more information about the twins and their UCLA medical team, please see http://www.healthcare.ucla.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of California - Los Angeles. "UCLA Surgeons Complete Skin Expansion Procedure On Conjoined Twins." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020627010152.htm>.
University Of California - Los Angeles. (2002, June 27). UCLA Surgeons Complete Skin Expansion Procedure On Conjoined Twins. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020627010152.htm
University Of California - Los Angeles. "UCLA Surgeons Complete Skin Expansion Procedure On Conjoined Twins." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020627010152.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins