Hospital: Conjoined twin girls successfully separated

Hospital: Conjoined twin girls successfully separated
In this photo released by Norton Healthcare, conjoined twins lay under a light before separation surgery at Kosair Children's Hospital operating room on Nov. 11, 2015 in Louisville, Ky. Doctors at Kosair Children's Hospital have successfully separated conjoined twin girls. The Louisville hospital said in a statement that the eight-hour surgery was performed on the 7-week-old girls on Nov. 11. While both remain on ventilators, the statement said they are getting stronger each day. (Jamie Rhodes/Norton Healthcare via AP)

Doctors at a Kentucky hospital have successfully separated conjoined twin girls.

Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville said in a statement that the eight-hour surgery was performed on the 7-week-old girls on Nov. 11. While both remain on ventilators, the statement said they are getting stronger each day.

The girls were joined at the chest and abdominal cavity. They shared some heart structures and their livers were connected, according to the statement.

Doctors waited as long as they could to perform the risky procedure, making the decision to move forward because both girls needed increased breathing support.

Although their long-term prognosis is unknown, chief cardiovascular surgeon Erle H. Austin III says doctors are "cautiously optimistic" about their future.

Experts say conjoined twins occur once in about every 200,000 pregnancies.

  • Hospital: Conjoined twin girls successfully separated
    In this photo released by Norton Healthcare, surgeons and staff from Kosair Children's Hospital and University of Louisville physicians operate on the newly separated twins on Nov. 11, 2015 in Louisville, Ky. Doctors at Kosair Children's Hospital have successfully separated conjoined twin girls. The Louisville hospital said in a statement that the eight-hour surgery was performed on the 7-week-old girls on Nov. 11. While both remain on ventilators, the statement said they are getting stronger each day. (Jamie Rhodes/Norton Healthcare via AP)
  • Hospital: Conjoined twin girls successfully separated
    In this photo released by Norton Healthcare, one of the newly separated twins is rolled out of the operating room following surgery at Kosair Children's Hospital and University of Louisville on Nov. 11, 2015 in Louisville, Ky.Doctors at Kosair Children's Hospital have successfully separated conjoined twin girls. The Louisville hospital said in a statement that the eight-hour surgery was performed on the 7-week-old girls on Nov. 11. While both remain on ventilators, the statement said they are getting stronger each day. (Jamie Rhodes/Norton Healthcare via AP)
  • Hospital: Conjoined twin girls successfully separated
    In this photo released by Norton Healthcare, staff in the Kosair Children's Hospital operating room prepare conjoined twins for separation surgery on Nov. 11, 2015 in Louisville, Ky. Doctors at Kosair Children's Hospital have successfully separated conjoined twin girls. The Louisville hospital said in a statement that the eight-hour surgery was performed on the 7-week-old girls on Nov. 11. While both remain on ventilators, the statement said they are getting stronger each day. (Jamie Rhodes/Norton Healthcare via AP)

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