Minister leads surgery to separate Siamese twins

Updated 23 December 2012

Minister leads surgery to separate Siamese twins

Surgery to separate conjoined twins, Abdullah and Salman, an operation undertaken at the order of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah, began at the National Guards’ King Abdulaziz Medical City in Riyadh on Friday.
Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah heads the surgical team, which includes 30 specialists in addition to other medical staff.
The nine-hour surgery on the twins involves eight stages beginning with complete anesthetizing of the patients. The actual separation begins in the fourth stage of the operation. The next stage involves the repair of the separated parts, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Preliminary investigations show that the surgery has a 70 percent possibility of success. Medical and nursing students are also present at the theater.
With its advanced facilities and experienced doctors, the King Abdulaziz Medical City occupies a prominent place globally in the field of separating Siamese twins with a record 28 successful operations.
Al-Rabeeah was recently awarded the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Medical Science in appreciation of his contributions to the development of the health sector and to other humanitarian medical services on a global level. This award is for distinguished personalities who have dedicated their lives to the development of medical science in the Arab region.
Since its establishment in 1990, around 28 physicians and volunteers have won the prize. Winners have included Americans, Britons, Australians, Italians, Germans and a Finn besides winners from the Middle East.
Al-Rabeeah became the Kingdom's health minister in 2009. Prior to his appointment as minister, he was the chief executive officer of National Guard Health Affairs at the King Abdulaziz Medical City.
Globally renowned for the separation of conjoined twins, Al-Rabeeah has successfully separated conjoined twins from countries such as Poland, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
Al-Rabeeah performed the first separation surgery at Riyadh’s King Faisal Specialist Hospital in December 1990. The operation, which was successful, was performed on Saudi twin girls joined at the stomach.
Under the leadership of Al-Rabeeah, Saudi Arabia has built a team of top surgeons specialized in the separation of twins. In total, team members have experience treating 63 twins from 17 countries.


Saudi vegan bodybuilder slams diet myths

Nutrition is the most important part when it comes to bodybuilding, then comes type of exercise, and good rest. (AFP)
Updated 29 November 2020

Saudi vegan bodybuilder slams diet myths

  • Ali Al-Salam, who stopped consuming animal products in 2017, says certain steps must be completed to have an athletic body

JEDDAH: The vegan diet has risen in popularity in Saudi Arabia in recent years and has been a constant topic of debate among Saudis, attracting the interest of many, including athletes.

Ongoing debates about whether the vegan diet is sufficient for normal people, let alone bodybuilders, abound, but one Saudi is answering them physically.
Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products from diets, clothing or any other purposes.
Over the years, a number of studies have found that people who eat vegan or vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease, but other studies have also placed them at a higher risk of stroke, possibly due to the lack of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that reduces the risk of anemia and neurological diseases.
Speaking to Arab News, 33-year-old Saudi vegan bodybuilder, Ali Al-Salam, who first started his vegan diet three years ago when he was suffering from high blood pressure, highlighted that the consumption of animal products is a deep rooted idea among bodybuilders and athletes.
“We always hear that in order to build muscle, we must consume animal products. In some parts of the world, there are people who can only have a small amount of animal products yet they live their lives healthily and comfortably and are not suffering from malnutrition — on the contrary, they have a lower level of chronic illnesses.”

When I consumed meat and animal products, I suffered from high blood pressure; it was 190 over 110, and I wasn’t even 30 yet. Two weeks into the vegan diet, it went down to 150. The vegan diet did what couldn’t be done with medications for me.

Ali Al-Salam, Saudi vegan bodybuilder

He said it also opened his eyes to what goes on in the dairy and meat industry; he began researching in 2016 and decided to become vegan in 2017.
“I was just like every other athlete, I used to consume a high amounts of protein. I remember in the last days before turning vegan, I used to have 10 egg whites and a piece of steak for breakfast to fulfil my protein needs. This made me think, ‘is this the only way to consume protein?’ And from then on, I started researching and got introduced to the vegan diet at a larger scale,” he said.
“When I consumed meat and animal products, I suffered from high blood pressure; it was 190 over 110, and I wasn’t even 30 yet. Two weeks into the vegan diet, it went down to 150. The vegan diet did what couldn’t be done with medications for me.”
He explained that bodybuilding does not solely rely on protein, and that there are steps that must be completed in order to reach an athletic body. Nutrition is the most important part, then comes type of exercise, and good rest.
“When we talk about good nutrition, it does not just rely on protein. Yes, it is important, but the amount of calories in general is more important,” he said.
“Let’s say you needed 200 grams of protein, does that mean if you consumed 200 grams of it, you would gain muscle? No. You need all the basic nutrients to reach a certain amount of calories in general,” he added.
He highlighted that as soon as people register for gym memberships, they immediately look for supplements because they think they cannot reach the needed amount of protein.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes all animal products from diets, clothing or any other purposes.

• Over the years, a number of studies have found that people who eat vegan or vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease.

• But other studies have also placed them at a higher risk of stroke, possibly due to the lack of vitamin B12, an essential vitamin that reduces the risk of anemia and neurological diseases.

• Vegan athletes have more endurance, strength and faster muscle recovery, because the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants.

• Animal products sometimes cause inflammation, that your body needs to recover from in the first place.

“I’m talking about non-vegans here too, where their protein intake is already high. Marketing plays a big role here. People link protein to animal products because our society grew up with this idea as well.
“Can a vegan build muscle? Yes, when they eat right, exercise correctly and rest well. The misconception about protein stems from amino acids. People think vegan food lacks amino acids, and only animal products are full of them and that is far from the truth,” he added.
When comparing vegan athletes to regular athletes, he said vegan athletes have more endurance, strength and faster muscle recovery, because the vegan diet is rich in antioxidants which helps greatly in recovery, and because “animal products sometimes cause inflammation, that your body needs to recover from in the first place.”