Conjoined twins delivered

October 26, 2006

A team of 16 Canadian doctors at a Vancouver hospital succeeded in delivering conjoined twin girls after a 65-minute caesarean section procedure on the mother.

The babies joined at the head were born Wednesday at the British Columbia Children's Hospital, reports the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

The procedure involved making a long vertical incision in the mother's abdomen, creating a wide enough opening for the shoulders of both girls, the report said.

A hospital spokeswoman said the identical twins, who were born 34 weeks into their 21-year-old mother's pregnancy, were breathing on their own and stable in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. Hospital authorities said the babies may need help for normal breathing.

Doctors had been rehearsing their procedure for a while because the two tiny mouths would be so close together, the report said. They think a separation surgery may be likely depending on the extent the blood vessels of the brain are shared. They say it could take up to a year to make that determination.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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