updated 5/29/2005 12:20:47 AM ET 2005-05-29T04:20:47

A baby girl who underwent surgery to remove a second head that was sharing a blood vessel with her brain has been released from the hospital, her doctors said Saturday.

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Manar Maged was born March 30, 2004, with a rare birth defect, craniopagus parasiticus, that occurs when an embryo begins to split into identical twins but fails to complete the process, leaving an undeveloped conjoined twin in the womb. Manar also has a healthy twin sister.

“God has blessed us, this is a day of happiness for us, the girl is very well and she’ll be going home today,” said Dr. Naseif Hefnawi, director of Benha Neonatal Hospital.

There were 10 previous cases like Manar’s throughout the world when she underwent surgery on Feb. 19, and Manar was the only one to have survived the procedure, Hefnawi said.

“The important thing is, the girl is improving day by day, her eyes are focussing more, anything she needs, day or night, will be available,” Hefnawi said.

Manar slept in her mother’s arms as the hospital’s doctors applauded the news.

Hefnawi said the 14-hour surgery, carried out in the Nile Delta town of Benha, some 25 miles north of Cairo, was the first of its kind in the Middle East.

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