Since they were born, Erin and Abby Delaney were never apart. These conjoined twins are connected at the head, which is a really rare situation, that only happens once in every 60,000 births. Fortunately, when they completed 1 year of existence, they were separated in an 11-hour surgery.
All of this happened on June 6, 2017. The two girls were successfully separated at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – and now they’re going home for the first time. However, the process wasn’t as simple as it sounds.
In October 2016, doctors did an initial operation, where they placed expanders to stretch the skin of babies’ heads.
In addition, they inserted a device that separated the skull of Erin and Abby in a millimeter or two every day. Even after almost 1 year of preparation, the surgery was difficult and took 11 hours. A trio of neurosurgeons worked carefully to separate the blood vessels of Erin and Abby, the dura mater, and even the small amount of brain tissue they shared.
Depois disso, eles fecharam as feridas do crânio das meninas usando materiais artificiais. Às 8:43 da tarde do dia 6 de junho, Erin e Abby começaram suas vidas em separado! E o mais impressionante de tudo? Elas foram das primeiras a realizar esse tipo de operação de separação de crânios, de acordo com o cirurgião reconstrutivo Dr. Jesse Taylor.
Although the worst has already been done, the sisters will still need more procedures over the years. Doctors will need to introduce bone to straighten their skulls and repair the scars. Unfortunately, most cases of conjoined twins joined by the skull end in death. So we were happy that Erin and Abby have many happy years ahead of them.
Share this wonderful operation, which is certainly a great milestone in the history of medicine!