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.


Pentagon chief visits Saudi Arabia as tensions simmer with Iran

Updated 21 October 2019

Pentagon chief visits Saudi Arabia as tensions simmer with Iran

  • The visit comes days after Pentagon said it was bolstering its forces in the Kingdom amid tensions with Iran
  • In October, the Pentagon said it was deploying new US troops to Saudi Arabia following attacks on Saudi oil plants

RIYADH: US Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday, with tensions simmering between the United States and Iran, and Russia seeking to increase its regional influence.
Al-Ekhbariyah television gave no details on the previously unannounced visit, which comes after Esper visited Afghanistan.
Esper is likely to meet King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on his first trip to the key Middle East ally since he took office this summer, a visit intended partly to reassure Riyadh over bilateral ties.

US-Iran tensions have risen to new highs since May 2018, when the Trump administration withdrew from a 2015 international nuclear accord with Tehran that put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions.
The United States has deployed military forces to Saudi Arabia to bolster the Kingdom’s defenses after an attack on oil sites last month.
The Sept. 14 attack knocked out two major processing facilities of state oil giant Aramco in Khurais and Abqaiq, roughly halving Saudi Arabia’s oil production.
Washington condemned the attacks as a “act of war” but neither the Saudis nor the United States have overtly retaliated.

Esper said that two fighter squadrons and additional missile defense batteries were being sent to Saudi Arabia, bringing to about 3,000 the total number of troops deployed there since last month.
Despite the additional troops, there are questions about the US commitment to allies in the region after Trump announced a sudden withdrawal from northeastern Syria, opening the door for Russia to increase its influence in the Middle East.
A senior US defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States still wanted to be seen as the partner of choice in the region and Russia was not as dependable, whether it be the level of training or the military equipment it can provide.
President Vladimir Putin signalled Moscow’s growing Middle East clout last week on his first visit to Saudi Arabia in over a decade, buoyed by Russian military gains in Syria, strong ties with Riyadh’s regional rivals and energy cooperation.
(With Reuters and AFP)