Egyptian twin's condition downgraded

Nov. 6, 2003 at 11:12 AM

DALLAS, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Doctors say the condition of one of the formerly conjoined Egyptian twins was downgraded in Dallas following insertion of a shunt to drain spinal fluid.

The condition of Ahmed Ibrahim was lowered from good to guarded Wednesday after the procedure, which is common following a shunt placement, said Dr. James Thomas, chief of critical care serves at Children's Medical Center Dallas.

"Shunts have been necessary in all previous craniopagus separation surgeries and were anticipated in the original separation plans," said Thomas, who explained the shunt will drain spinal fluid from Ahmed's lower back to his abdominal cavity.

The conditions of Ahmed and his brother Mohamed have steadily improved since surgeons separated the boys who were joined at the head in 34 hours of surgery Oct. 11-12. Mohamed remains in good condition.

Mohamed has progressed a little ahead of his brother since the surgery but doctors have said they are not concerned. The boys visit each other daily and are responding well to their parents and nurses.

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