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Conjoined twins separated in Thailand

/ Source: The Associated Press

Thai doctors have successfully separated 8-month-old twin girls who were born joined from chest to abdomen, a Bangkok hospital said Thursday.

The girls, Panwad Tiyenjai and Pantawan Tiyenjai, were born with the upper chambers, or atriums, of their hearts connected, one pumping blood to the other, said Dr. Somchai Sriyoschati, who participated in the operation.

He said that the 12-hour surgery on Feb. 20, in which 61 doctors and nurses took part, left both girls in good condition, though one has a slight heart defect which can be fixed when she gets older, he said. The girls were eight months old when they were operated on.

Siriraj Hospital did not say why it delayed in announcing the 12-hour operation.

Somchai said tests before the operation clearly showed the connection between the two hearts, but doctors were unsure if one was dependent on the other.

When the operation began, doctors blocked the flow of blood at the joining point to see if each heart could operate independently, Somchai said. Only after finding that stopping the flow caused no apparent problem, did they proceed, he said.