A team of 70 medical personnel led by Saudi Arabia's minister of health successfully separated conjoined Egyptian twins on Saturday at a Riyadh hospital, doctors said.
Nine-month-old Hassan and Mahmoud, who were born joined at the abdomen, were separated after nine hours of surgery, Saud al-Jadaan, one of the team's doctors at King Abdulaziz Medical City, told AFP.
"The operation is going smoothly. The babies' condition is stable," he said.
The two were in separate rooms in the hospital's pediatric intensive care unit as doctors worked to reconstruct the body parts the twins had shared, including bowel, urinary tract and sexual organs.
This was being done to give the boys as much natural organ function as possible, Jadaan said.
"What we do now will affect their quality of life in the future," he added.
The operating team was led by the country's newly named Minister of Health Abdullah al-Rabia, famed for his operations to separate conjoined twins.
The operation, which could be seen live on the hospital's website, was originally expected to take 15 hours but went more quickly than planned, hospital spokesman Sami al-Shalan said.
"We are three hours ahead of time," he said, attributing that to the operating team's experience. It was the 21st successful operation to separate conjoined twins at the facility.
If there are no complications, the twins will stay in the hospital for another two months to recover before returning to Egypt with their parents, Jadaan said.