It was a 11-hour marathon operation. The procedure, known as craniopagus surgery, has been conducted only about 60 times since 1952 in the world. “Separating conjoined twins is a very complex surgery followed by a long and complicated recovery, but we are very hopeful for a positive outcome,” plastic surgeon Jesse Taylor, who co-led the operation with neurosurgeon Gregory Heuer, said. The parents learned that Heather Delaney was carrying conjoined twins just 11 weeks into her pregnancy.
The girls before the surgery
Conjoined twins happens about once in 60,000 births but fusion just at the skull incidence is for about 2 percent of cases. The birth occurred by cesarean section on July 24, 2016. The most difficult part of the surgery was separation dividing the infants’ shared cranial blood vessels and dura, the protective membrane surrounding the brains. Permanent neurological disability is a risk even when they survive. More reconstructive operations have to be performed in this case and a long time recovery is needed. There is hope that the girls will be at home later this year.