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After A Year Of Waiting, These Conjoined Twins Are Finally Starting Life Apart

Royal Children's Hospital

For most mothers, learning you're expecting twins is a blessing.

But Bhumchu Zangmo has been through 14 months of anxiety after her twin daughters, Nima and Dawa, were born joined together at the torso.

The twins, who were delivered by C-section, flew to Australia last month for the surgery that would finally divide them.

And despite delays and worries about the operation, doctors say it was a success.

"It will be really interesting to see what will happen once the girls are separated."

Australian conjoined Twins
The twins and their mother flew from Bhutan to Australia for the surgery.Royal Children's Hospital

The twins were born in Bhutan, a tiny Asian kingdom of less than a million people, and were actually the first set of conjoined twins in the country's history.

Because doctors in their home country are not equipped to separate them, the twins flew to Australia last month for the important surgery.

Before the operation, their mother was "a little bit scared" but "very pleased" that the time to split up her daughters had finally arrived, according to spokesperson for the charity that funded the twins' flight to Australia and their surgery.

She also revealed that the twins have unique personalities, despite literally being joined at the hip.

"Nima's the robust one. She tends to ... always be on the top, pulling rank, as we say, and Dawa's more placid," the spokesperson said.

"It will be really interesting to see what will happen once the girls are separated. They're good mates."

"We didn't find surprises."

Nima Dawa conjoined twins
The surgery was delayed to guarantee the twins were in good health.Royal Children's Hospital

The surgery to split Nima and Dawa was originally scheduled for last month, but was delayed to guarantee they were in good shape for the grueling operation.

It took a team of four surgeons and 18 other employees from Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital six hours to split up the girls, which was actually faster than the team expected.

Australia Conjoined twins
The huge team of workers who pulled off the six-hour surgery.Royal Children's Hospital

The pair were joined at the torso and shared a liver, but turned out not to share part of their bowel, as the doctors once believed.

Australia Conjoined Twins
Royal Children's Hospital

"We didn't find surprises," said lead pediatric surgeon Joe Crameri, "we knew the liver would be connected ... it was divided successfully without any major bleeding."

Most of the surgery involved reconstructing each girl's abdomen after they were divided.

Australia Conjoined Twins
The girls shared a liver, and their torsos had to be repaired following the surgery.Royal Children's Hospital

Dr. Karma Sherbub, Bhutan's only pediatrician, flew to Australia with the twins, and was in the operating room for their surgery.

"They're more than patients to me, they're like a family," he told a local news radio station.

While the surgery was a success, doctors say there is still a long road ahead for the girls as they grow up separated.

Australia conjoined twins
Zangmo snuggled up to the newly separated twins after their surgery.Royal Children's Hospital

"The muscles in their limbs have not been used so far, because they have not learnt to crawl and do the usual stuff kids at this stage do," Dr. Sherbub explained.

"They may need extensive rehabilitation and all the help they need to catch up on whatever they've lost."

[H/T: ABC News]

Get well soon Nima and Dawa!

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