CHOP Surgeons Separate Conjoined Twins

It takes about 7 hours to successfully separate conjoined 8 month olds

The Tuckers Twins spent their first night apart Wednesday after the previously conjoined twins were successfully separated by surgeons at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The 8-month-old twins from New York were joined at the lower chest and abdomen.

Allison and Amelia Tucker of Adams, N.Y., shared their chest wall, diaphragm, pericardium and liver. It took a team of 40 physicians, nurses and medical staff about seven hours to perform the separation and by 3:40 p.m. the Tucker girls were separated.

“Like all separations of conjoined twins, this was a very complex surgery, but it went very well and as expected,” said lead surgeon Dr. Holly Hedrick. “Allison and Amelia are currently recovering in the Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU) and will be monitored closely by CHOP’s expert clinical teams for the duration of their recovery.


“We expect that, with this complex surgery behind them, Allison and Amelia will receive the care, therapy and support to allow them to live full, healthy and independent lives,” said Hedrick.

Officials said the surgery was the 21st separation of conjoined twins performed at CHOP.

Conjoined twins occur once in every 50,000 to 60,000 births, and most are stillborn. About three-quarters of such twins are female and are joined at least partially in the chest, sharing organs. Chances of successful surgery and survival are greater if the twins have separate sets of organs, the hospital said.

A year ago, conjoined 20-month-old twins from the Dominican Republic were separated at a Virginia hospital. Maria and Teresa Tapia were attached at the lower chest, and surgical teams successfully divided their liver, pancreas and other shared organ systems and reconstructed their abdominal walls.

A few days before that, 2-year-old twin sisters Angelica and Angelina Sabuco from San Jose, Calif., who were joined at the chest and abdomen, were separated in procedures performed at a California hospital. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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