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Twins Separated At UCLA

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Surgeons at UCLA have separated the one-year-old Guatemalan twins joined at the head. Doctor Houman Hemmati, who assisted in the surgery, says the separation appears to be successful and took about 20 hours. Hemmati says there was no major trouble in the procedure. He says one of the girls was losing a lot of blood, but she was given transfusions and “everything looks great.” Hemmati says the doctors had “goosebumps” at the end of the procedure. He says they were “more than optimistic” and couldn´t wait until they can see the girls “playing, laughing, crying like normal baby children.”

The separation procedure is only one of several operations the twins will have to undergo. Maria Teresa and Maria de Jesus Quiej-Alvarez were born in rural Guatemala, attached at the skull and facing opposite directions. Cases like theirs occur in fewer than one in 2.5 million live births.