The sheer joy of mother Ginady Sabuco could not be described as her 2-year-old conjoined twin daughters Angelica and Angelina Sabuco were finally separated in the U.S. after a grueling 10-hour surgery.
A team of 20 doctors, together with 15-20 staff at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, California, separated the twins, who each had their own brains, hearts, kidneys, stomachs and intestines. The only organ they shared was their “tightly fused” liver.
The entire surgery was a success. No blood loss was reported during the splitting of the liver, which was the riskiest part of the operation. The amazing thing about the whole thing is that their shared organ, now split, is also the only organ which can grow and repair itself while functioning.
The second part of the surgery was reconstructing the twins where they used to be connected. Says plastic surgeon Peter Lorenz, "They will have a long scar from the middle of their chests down to the belly button, a straight line. That's all that will show."
The two girls, who have been joined from the middle of their chest to the middle of their abdomen since birth, were described by an ABC report to have contrasting personalities; one aggressive, the other more reserved. Now the two are hoped to live long, healthy and normal lives, plus, they get to spend their first night in separate beds, in pediatric intensive care unit.
The girls were sedated and put on assisted ventilation after the surgery. Doctors hope that they recover well from the surgery and be put off ventilation in a matter of days.
Said their mother, “This is a dream come true. Words cannot express how the family feels."
•November 3, 2011. “Angelina and Angelica Sabuco, Conjoined Twins, Separated After Lengthy Surgery” hufftingtonpost.com