According to the health officials, there’s a 50 million to one chance that this would happen in any pregnancy. But, unfortunately, that was the situation facing the surgical team at the Children’s Hospital.
According to the parents, Ximena and Scarlett were reportedly born fused from the navel downward with separate lower limbs. The other triplet, Catalina, had a normal birth. The twins shared a colon and half of their uterus on each side. The babies’ kidneys went to the opposite baby’s bladder, so surgeons would have to reroute them to go to the correct organ.
Pediatric surgeon Dr. Patel headed up a team of medical specialists in pediatric surgery, urology, plastic surgery and orthopedics that would take on the case of the twins.
Dr. Hopkins, working with his partner, Dr. Dimas, was responsible for the extensive plastic surgery required before and after the twins’ surgery. Hopkins also took an expanded role in the case based on his working knowledge of what 3D Systems could offer. According to the statement, planning for the surgery took place over several months, as doctors had to study the shared anatomy to understand how to best separate the infants and then reorient vital organs, skin, bones, muscle and tissue to ensure each girl’s survival following the operation.
Following the operation, the twins spent a couple of weeks in intensive care, where they had a relatively routine recovery. They were released around their first birthday.
Dr. Patel and Dr. Hopkins continue to check on their progress as they undergo physical therapy. Not so long ago, the twins celebrated the 7 year anniversary of the day that they were surgically separated. It was as you may remember, a history making surgery.
The girls were joined at the pelvis. Their surgery came 11 months after their birth. They were actually born as a set of triplets. Their sister is also said to be doing fine.
A massive team of doctors spent months preparing for the surgery. In all, there were 45 health care professionals involved in the process. Their specialized care is expected to continue over the years as they grow in what doctors describe will be a lifelong relationship.
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