The Yemeni twins Salman and Abdullah. Below: A link to a video aired by Saudi TV Al Ekhbariya shows the twins' father trying to kiss the head of Dr Al Rabeeah in a sign of appreciation following the successful separation procedure. Image Credit: Saudi news agency SPA

Cairo: Yemeni conjoined twins were successfully separated at a hospital in the Saudi capital Riyadh, marking the 55th such operation in the kingdom, the Saudi media reported.

The twins Salman and Abdullah Youssef were born sharing the abdomen and pelvis area, intestines, the urinary and reproductive system and had deformities.

They were separated after a delicate six-phase surgery, which lasted for eight and half hours, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.

Thirty-five specialists in anesthesia, pediatrics, urinary tract surgery, orthopedics and cosmetic surgery as well as nursing and technical staff participated in the procedure carried out at the King Abdullah Specialised Hospital in Riyadh.

The twins underwent construction surgery after the Thursday separation procedure.

They are now staying in separate beds for the first time in their lives, said Dr Abdullah Al Rabeeah, who led the surgical and medical team. “This operation comes in implemention of directives of the wise leadership,” added Dr Al Rabeeah, who is also an advisor at the royal court and the supervisor-general of the King Salman Humanitaran Aid and Relief Centre.

The operation was the eighth carried out in Saudi Arabia for conjoined twins from Yemen and the 55th in a Saudi programme for separating conjoined twins since 1990, according to SPA.

Last month, a team of surgeons led by Dr Al Rabeeah separated Iraqi conjoined twins in an 11-hour operation at a Riyadh hospital.

The twins, named Omar and Ali, had been joined in the lower chest and abdomen, and shared the liver, bile ducts and intestines.

The operation was carried out in six phases involving 27 specialists, nurses and technical staff.