Conjoined twin sisters separated in successful surgery: ‘We did it’
FORT WORTH, Texas (Gray News) - A Texas hospital says it has successfully performed its first-ever separation surgery for conjoined twins.
This week, representatives with the Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth announced the successful operation involving twin sisters AmieLynn Rose and JamieLynn Rae Finley to parents Amanda Arciniega and James Finley.
According to the hospital, the 11-hour-long surgery happened on Monday was conducted by a team of 25 medical professionals and six surgeons.
Hospital representatives said AmieLynn and JamieLynn are currently recovering well after the operation.
“The separation surgery will give AmieLynn and JamieLynn better opportunities to improve their health and development, and to grow as the unique, individual little girls that they have been since birth, regardless of their physical connection as conjoined twins,” said Dr. Jose L. Iglesias, lead surgeon for the twins’ surgery.
Conjoined twins are rare; the hospital estimates it occurs in one out of every 200,000 live births, with five to eight conjoined twins worldwide surviving the first few days after birth.
“I would not have thought in a million years that I would have twins,” Arciniega said. “And then conjoined twins on top of that.”
JamieLynn and AmieLynn are omphalopagus twins, which means they were joined at the abdomen and shared one or more internal organs.
According to the hospital, the girls were born prematurely on Oct. 3, 2022. They were joined from the lower part of the breastbone to their belly button and shared a liver.
Representatives of the hospital said its team worked to improve the girls’ health, growth, and development while preparing them for the surgery.
The Cook Children’s Medical Center said a team dedicated months to planning and collaborating for the twins’ surgery and ran through multiple simulations of the operation.
“AmieLynn and JamieLynn’s growth and development was at the right time for them to have the surgery,” said Dr. Mary Frances Lynch, a neonatologist at Cook Children’s Medical Center. “Separation now will benefit AmieLynn and JamieLynn by allowing them to continue reaching important growth and development milestones in their individual health journeys.”
According to the hospital, the surgical team also included three anesthesiologists, four pediatric surgeons, two plastic surgeons and 18 other clinical professionals. They were separated into two teams, one for each girl, and worked together until the babies were separated.
“We did it. I don’t know what I did, but we did it,” Finley, the twins’ father, said. “It takes a lot of pressure and anxiety off when you know your kid is going to be taken care of.”
In the coming weeks and months, hospital representatives said AmieLynn and JamieLynn will continue to receive care from Cook Children’s Medical Center’s neonatology and NICU teams, focusing on their healing and continued growth and development.
“I’m very hopeful that they’re going to have a good recovery and lead healthy lives in the future,” Dr. Iglesias said. “They’re going to have a bit of a ramp up from the recovery, but I think they’re going to be able to get there eventually, and very close to normal if not completely normal.”
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