The baby girls – who were three days old at the time of the procedure weighed just 7lbs between them and were joined at the stomach. Doctors in India managed to convince the unnamed pair’s parents that separation surgery was the best option.
The 5 hours operation was performed by a team of five surgeons, ten doctors and 15 nurses. The two girls are expected to be allowed home later this week. Dr Vaibhav Pandey, assistant professor of paediatric surgery at S S Hospital, said:
It was one of the rarest operations our hospital does. I am very happy that both survived in spite of the long operation and the children being weak. It was a challenging task.
The girls, who are said to be doing well, will be named during traditional rituals performed when they get home.
WHAT ARE CONJOINED TWINS?
Conjoined twins occur when siblings have their skin or internal organs fused together.
It affects around one in 200,000 live births. Conjoined twins are caused by a fertilised egg beginning to split into two embryos a few weeks after conception, but the process stops before it is complete.
The most common type is twins joined at the chest or abdomen. Separation surgery success depends on where the twins are joined. Doctors can only tell which organs the siblings share, and therefore plan surgery, after they are born. At least one twin survives 75% of the time.