9-Month-Old Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated After 24-Hour Surgery

Nine-month-old conjoined twins with a rare condition have been successfully separated after a 24-hour surgery. Now, they can live normally and independently.

Surgeons at the UC Davis Children's Hospital in Sacramento, California, helped Abigail and Micaela Bachinskiy live separate lives. A news release from the hospital said that reconstructed the twins' skulls after dividing large veins and brain matter.

Learned of the twin's condition

Liliya Miroshnik, the twins' mom, documents the girls' journey on her Instagram account. A week ago, she posted a photo of her babies before their surgery. When she was 11 weeks pregnant, she learned of her babies' condition.

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Liliya and Anatoliy Bachinskiy found out that their twin babies had a rare condition called craniopagus twins. Mayo Clinic describes it as a condition wherein the twins have fused skulls and share some brain tissue; however, their brains are separated.

The hospital noted that while conjoined twins are extremely rare, craniopagus twins are even rarer. It occurs once in every 2.5 million births and happens in only two percent of conjoined twins.

After the twins were born on December 30, 2019, UC Davis doctors started preparing for their separation. Granger Wong, the lead plastic surgeon, said that the risks become greater as the twins get older. He said that organs and blood vessels become more entwined and get larger as they grow older.

9-month-old conjoined twins, successfully separated, after 24-hour surgery
(Photo: Instagram/liliyamiroshnik)

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Doctors monitored the twins

His team monitored the twins' MRIs and CT scans. They placed tissue expanders under their skin to encourage skin growth to cover the openings after the surgery. They also practiced operating on the girls' 3D model heads to be ready with the real one.

A team of more than 30 surgical professionals gathered on Saturday in the operating room. They were divided into two groups, one wearing orange caps and the other purple to signify the handling of each twin.

The team started at 3:28 on Sunday morning after pediatric neurosurgeon Michael Edwards announced, "Cranial separation!" He named the surgery "landmark" because it was the hospital's first to separate conjoined twins.

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After the surgery, Miroshnik shared photos of her snuggling with her daughters. There was no release date set yet, but both babies are doing well after being extubated. Miroshnik told TODAY Health that the doctors are happy that the girls are doing great.

She felt it was awesome that the twins recognize her and her husband's faces. She noted that both are screaming for "mamma and daddy." Miroshnik also said she could feel that God is alive and is working on their lives.

Bachinskiy said that although they are still getting used to their separated twins, they are really happy. He noted that they have waited for it for so long.

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