Image: A two-headed born baby is pictured in Anajas, northern Brazil
Handout  /  Reuters
Doctors in Brazil said they are unsure whether they can operate on the twins, named Jesus and Emanuel, although the newborn is in stable condition.
msnbc.com news services
updated 12/22/2011 12:17:51 PM ET 2011-12-22T17:17:51

Hospital officials in northern Brazil say a woman has given birth to conjoined twin boys with one body and two heads.

The baby was born by Caesarean at early Monday in a small hospital in the northern state of Para and was rushed by plane to a better-equipped facility, the Santa Casa de Misericodia Hospital, in the state capital Belem.

Dicephalic parapagus conjoined twins -- one body, two heads -- are extremely rare. The condition occurs when one of the two conjoined twins fails to fully develop in the womb. Obstetrician Neila Dahas says on the hospital's website that each boy has his own brain and spinal cord, but they share all other organs, including the heart, lungs and liver. It is too early to tell how the twins will develop, she says.

One of the boys is having respiratory problems and requires "special care." Doctors say they are unsure whether they can operate on the boys, named Jesus and Emanuel, but they are in stable condition.

"What we know statistically is that the children who undergo surgery and survive are the children who have less organs in common," according to Dahas.

Dahas added that both brains appeared to be functioning well. Doctors believe that eventually one head will stop developing and would be removed, but it is too early to tell in this case.

The doctors said the mother breast-fed both heads a few times and that their appetite was normal.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

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