The conjoined twins have been successfully separated after 33 hours of operation.
Under the direction of UK-based pediatric surgeon Noor ul Owase Jilani from Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, Bernardo and Arthur Lima performed several surgeries in Rio de Janeiro.
The three-year-old boys had a total of seven operations, with the last two surgeries alone involving an operating time of over 33 hours, and involving nearly 100 medical staff.
Surgeons tested the techniques for several months using virtual reality before starting the actual procedures.
His surgery was led by Mr. Jilani, along with Dr. Gabriel Mufrez, Head of Pediatric Surgery at the Institut Estadual do Cerebro Paulo Niemeyer.
Mr Jilani described the operation as a “remarkable achievement” by physicians, but added the charity, Gemini Untwined, relies on public donations to continue its work.
He added: “Bernardo and Arthur’s successful separation is a remarkable achievement by the team in Rio and a great example of why the work of Gemini Untwined is so valuable.
“We have not only provided a new future for the boys and their families, we have also equipped the local team with the capabilities and confidence to successfully undertake such complex tasks again in the future.
“It is through this process of teamwork and knowledge-sharing globally that we can hope to improve outcomes for all children and families who find themselves in this difficult situation.
“This is only possible through generous donations from members of the public.”
Gabriel Mufraz said the hospital where he works had been caring for the boys for two and a half years, and that their surgery would be “life-changing.”
He said: “Since the boys’ parents came to Rio from their home in the Roraima area two and a half years ago, they became part of our family here at the hospital.
“We are delighted that the surgery went so well and has had a life-changing result for the boys and their families.”
Their work was supported by Gemini Untwined, a charity founded by Mr. Jalene to raise money for siblings born at the head – called craniopagus twins.
According to the charity, freeing Bernardo and Arthur from each other was one of the most complex ablation procedures ever performed, and many surgeons didn’t think it would be possible.
Since the twins are about four years old, they are also the oldest craniopagus twins with a detached brain.
The charity has said that both twins are recovering in hospital and will be supported with six months of rehabilitation.
According to Gemini data, one in 60,000 births results in conjoined twins, and of these, only 5% are craniopagus babies.