Laleh and Ladan bijani ( January 17, 1974 calling later Hope day – July 8, 2003) were Iranian law graduates. They were conjoined twin sisters who died
after their complicated surgical separation.
In 1996, they travelled to Germany, trying to convince doctors there to separate them; the German doctors however declined to operate, saying that the
risk of separation surgery would be too high for both of them.
In November 2002, after meeting Dr. Keith Goh, a Singaporean neurosurgeon who successfully separated the Shrestha sisters from Nepal who had previously
also been joined at the head, they travelled to Singapore to undergo the controversial operation. Even though they were warned by the doctors that the
surgery to separate them would still be very risky, the sisters were very determined.
After seven months in the Southeast Asian country doing extensive psychiatric and legal evaluations, they underwent surgery on July 6, 2003, under the care
of a large team of international specialists at Raffles Hospital, composed of 28 surgeons (including world-renowned neurosurgeon Ben Carson) and more than
100 support staff working in shifts. A specially-designed chair was required that allowed the operation to be performed with both sisters in a sitting
The attempt to separate the twins turned out to be very difficult, because their brains not only shared a major vein (the superior sagittal sinus), but
had fused together. The separation was achieved on July 8, 2003, but it was announced then that the twins were in critical condition, both having lost a
large volume of blood due to complications of the operation.
The separation stage of the surgery completed at 13:30 (Singapore time, UTC +8), but there was significant blood loss during the blood vessel repairing
process, and Ladan Bijani died at around 14:30 on the operating table; her sister Laleh died a short time afterwards at 16:00.