Separated Philippine twins doing well after US op

A pair of 2-year-old formerly conjoined twin girls from the Philippines are recovering well after an operation to separate them in California, a hospital spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Angelina and Angelica Sabuco, born joined at the chest and abdomen, were separated Tuesday by a team of 20 doctors during 10 hours of surgery at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto.

A day after the operation spokeswoman, Reena Mukamal, said: "The family and girls are together in the unit" at the hospital south of San Francisco.

"They are stable and progressing well with their recovery, Over the next two to three days it is expected that both girls will be breathing on their own," she told AFP.

The girls, who turned two in August, were joined at the chest and belly but had separate brains, hearts, kidneys, stomachs and intestines.

Lead surgeon Gary Hartman said Tuesday that the girls were expected to make a "complete recovery," adding: "We're very pleased... It could not have gone better."

Peter Lorenz, who led the reconstruction procedures, said there would be relatively little sign of the twins' past, after the operation.

"They will have a long scar from the middle of their chests down to the , a straight line," the surgeon said, adding: "That's all that will show."

Their mother, Ginady Sabuco, cried in her first appearance after the operation, saying: "I thank God for everything; words cannot express how the family feels for the successful separation of our twins."

It was lead surgeon Hartman's sixth operation on conjoined twins. The most recent set separated at the hospital were Yurelia and Fiorella Rocha-Arias of Costa Rica in November 2007.

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