At 10 months old, formerly conjoined twins Erin and Abby Delaney are now sleeping in separate cribs for the first time in their lives.
The twin babies from North Carolina were successfully separated after an 11-hour surgery at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia last week and are now recovering in the hospital's intensive care unit.
"Separating conjoined twins is a very complex surgery followed by a long and complicated recovery, but we are very hopeful for a positive outcome," said Dr. Jesse Taylor, a plastic surgeon who helped lead the multidisciplinary team of about 30 people, in a news release.
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The hospital is known for successfully separating conjoined twins, this being its 23rd separation surgery in 60 years, but the Delaney twins' craniopagus condition (separation of children joined at the top of the head) is the first of its type at the hospital. In fact, twins conjoined at the heads are the least common type of conjoined twins.
The medical team carefully separated shared blood vessels and a protective membrane before splitting into two teams for separate reconstruction surgeries.
The Delaney girls were born 10 weeks premature in July 2016 via C-section, and are expected to return home later this year.
"When we go home, it's going to be a big party," their mother, Heather Delaney, said in a statement released by the hospital. "Welcome home, baby shower, first birthday."
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