A pair of twins conjoined at the head have successfully undergone rare surgery to separate them.

The unnamed 1-year-old twin girls were conjoined at the back of the head and underwent separation surgery in Israel at Soroka Medical Centre in Beersheba last week.

The rare operation took a team of experts, from Israel and abroad, and months of planning and preparation before it could even go ahead.

Skin grafts for each of their scalps had to be prepared for the 12-hour operation that meant the twins could look at each other for the first time.

Months before the operation, inflatable bags were placed under the skin on their heads. They were periodically inflated in order to stretch the skin to cover their newly formed scalps.

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A 3D virtual reality model of the twins was also created to assist surgeons who would be conducting the operation.

It is only the 20th time that such an operation has been conducted and is the first time that a separation operation has taken place in Israel.

Doctors say the twins, who were born in August 2020, are recovering well from the life-changing surgery and experts say they will go on to live normal lives.

The head of Soroka’s plastic surgery department, Eldad Silberstein, told Israel’s Channel 12: “They are recovering nicely. They are breathing and eating on their own.”

Footage of the girls laying next to one another and being able to see each other for the first time was captured after the surgery.

Director of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the hospital, Dr Isaac Lazar, told the Times of Israel: “When the nurses brought the babies together, newly separated, they looked at each other, made noises, and gently touched each other – it was beautiful.”

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