PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Conjoined twins who were connected at the head were successfully separated at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The surgery on the 10-month-old infants, Abby and Erin Delaney, took place on June 7, and was led by Drs. Gregory Heuer and Jesse Taylor. It took 11 hours to complete.
“Separating conjoined twins is a very complex surgery followed by a long and complicated recovery, but we are very hopeful for a positive outcome,” Taylor said in a statement. “Erin and Abby are now recovering in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit under close monitoring by our expert teams.”
Nearly 30 members of the medical staff took part in the operation.
“During the separation surgery, our team first meticulously separated the infants’ shared blood vessels and dura, the tough protective membrane surrounding both brains, then moved on to separate the sagittal sinus, the most difficult portion of the operation,” Heuer said in a statement. “Finally, we divided our team into two halves, one for each of the girls, and finished the reconstruction portion of the surgery.”
Parents Heather and Riley Delaney, of North Carolina, first found out they were having conjoined twins about 11 weeks into the pregnancy in early 2016.
The couple traveled to CHOP when Heather Delaney was 19 weeks pregnant for an evaluation.
When she was 26 weeks pregnant, Delaney stayed at the hospital in the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit.
Abby and Erin were delivered by C-section 10 weeks premature on July 24, 2016.
The twins will most likely undergo one or more additional surgeries following their separation.
The twins are expected to go back home to North Carolina later this year.
“When we go home, it’s going to be a big party,” Heather Delaney said. “Welcome home, baby shower, first birthday.”