Chilean conjoined twins have been successfully separated by the doctors after a 20 hour long surgery that began Tuesday morning. The 10 month old twin girls are recovering from the surgery, which according to the doctors went extremely well despite some big challenges.
Maria Paz and Maria Jose are under intensive care as the doctors will continue to inspect their condition for infections or some other post surgery complications. "The next 48 hours will be the most critical in terms of the ... risk they face of dying," said the doctor Carlos Acuna, who’s in charge of the intensive care unit. He said the risk of malfunctioning of any of the body organs including lungs and kidney is relatively high during this period.
The twins were joined from the throat, stomach and the pelvis. The doctors said that the surgery was increasingly challenging since the twins shared most of the internal organs as well including the same urinary system. More than 100 people participated in facilitating the surgery including 25 surgeons and anesthesiologist. "We had a number of difficulties during the surgery. There were some surprises, but we were able to fix, solve the problems," Chief Surgeon, Francisco Ossandon said at a news conference. "We're very happy because we think they've had the best evolution we could have hoped for," he said.
The earlier surgeries comprised of separating the twins urinary tracts, pulmonary systems, legs and some other parts of the body. During the last surgery, a shared intestine was separated, with each twin having her own part of the intestine. However, the abdominal cavities and the thorax could not be closed completely and therefore the doctors had to use meshing to cover them. Ossandon said that meshing has foreign bodies that sometimes cause infections if the body fails to accept it.
The girls, born in February in a Villarrica hosital, had been attached to the machines ever since. The parents of the twins, Jessica Navarrete and Roberto Paredes had been praying as the twins underwent the seventh and most complex surgery yet. Their mother said she was hoping for a miracle before the surgery started on Tuesday. As their parents watched lovingly at their babies lying in separate cribs, they feel the twins have been reborn, since before the surgery, they had two souls trapped inside one body.
Ossandon said that after their discharge the twin will continue to seek medical attention for cleaning of their wounds and other checkups.