THE SEPARATION OF CONJOINED TWINS
The surgical separation of conjoined twins is a delicate and risky procedure, requiring extreme precision and care.
Therefore, the decision to separate twins is a serious one.
Mortality rates for twins who undergo separation vary, depending on their type of connection, and the organs they share. In cases of twins where the pumping chambers of their hearts are conjoined hearts, there are no known survivors.
Although success rates have improved over the years, surgical separation is still rare.
Since 1950, at least one twin has survived separation about 75 per cent of the time.
It is only after twins are born that doctors can use magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound and angiography to find out what organs the twins share. In order to determine the feasibility of separation, doctors must carefully assess how the twins’ shared organs function.
After separation, most twins need intensive rehabilitation because of the malformation and position of their spines.