Texas hospital completes 11-hour 'historic' surgery to separate conjoined twins

A team of 25 medical professionals at Fort Worth, Texas-based Cook Children's Medical Center performed the hospital's first separation procedure for conjoined twin sisters on Jan. 23. The 11-hour surgery required months of planning and several simulation surgeries, the hospital said in a news release. 

The twin sisters, AmieLynn Rose and JamieLynn Rae Finley, were born prematurely in early October at nearby Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. After their birth, teams at both hospitals began collaborating to develop a game plan for the separation surgery. The surgical team was led by Jose Iglesias, MD, Cook Children's medical director of pediatric surgery. During the months of collaboration, Dr. Iglesias built models of the twins' anatomy and mapped out possible solutions. There were multiple simulation surgeries to prepare for different outcomes. 

The sisters were joined from the lower part of the breastbone to their belly button and shared a liver, meaning they are omphalopagus twins, the technical term for conjoined twins who are joined at the abdomen and share at least one internal organ. 

"We are very happy with their progress at this point," Dr. Iglesias said at a news conference, according to CBS News. "We are focusing on their healing. They obviously have risks for several things, but we're keeping a close eye on those." 

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