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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Binder Twins

Patrick and Benjamin Binder were siamese twins that were born with the back of their heads attached to each other. These twins are written about in Ben Carson's book, Gifted Hands. He describes the routines that were went through to prepare for the surgery as well as the actual procedure itself.

According to reports, the Binder twins were joined at the back of the head and had the same superior sagittal vein. This is the main vein that takes blood out of the brain along with skull and skin tissue. These twins would have to stay in bed for the rest of their lives had surgery not been performed. 

Johns Hopkins had a team of 70 medical professionals working on the procedure. Ben Carson says in his book “At the end of the five-month period, everything was so organized that at times it felt as if we were planning a military operation. We even worked out where each team member would stand on the
 operating room floor. A 10-page, play-by-play book detailed each step of the operation. We endlessly discussed the five 3-hour dress rehearsals we’d had, using life-sized dolls attached at the 
head by Velcro.”

There were many difficulties during the procedure. In the end the surgery became a success. The only downfall was that the two children had to be institutionalized after the procedure due to the brain damage suffered.

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