California twins conjoined at the head separated successfully
Sacramento twin girls who were born conjoined at the head were successfully separated in an extensive, day-long surgical procedure Friday.
The joining of the little girls’ skulls and brains, a congenital condition known as craniopagus twinning, is a “very, very rare anomaly,” UC Davis Children’s Hospital Pediatric Neurosurgeon, said.
“There are very few children born in any one year worldwide that have this anomaly, and of those, there’s only a much smaller subset that the anatomy is fortuitous enough to be able to attempt a separation — and hopefully come out with two healthy babies.”
Abigail and Micaela’s mother found out that the twins were joined 11 weeks into her pregnancy.
“It was very tough. I just was shocked. I couldn’t process,” Liliya Miroshnik said.
“We’ve spent a lot of time — five months — studying this from all different ways,” explained Dr. Edwards.
“We’ve made 3D models. We’ve looked at some form of altered reality, virtual reality, augmented reality to help us understand the anatomy better.”
Doctors at UC Davis underwent repeated trial runs to make sure that they were prepared for the complicated procedure.
Surgery began on October 23 and wrapped up with the successful separation on October 24 around 3:28 a.m.
“After 10 months of preparation, we were witnessing what we had all envisioned for the girls and we were overcome with emotion and joy,” Aida Benitez, a nurse who watched the surgery team, said to ABC10.
“I will never see 3:28 on a clock again and not think of the moment that Abi and Mica became two separate babies.”
Dr. Michael Edwards described the separation as a “landmark surgery for the UC Davis Children’s Hospital.”