Surgeons at CHOP will part conjoined twins

Posted: November 07, 2012

Surgeons at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Wednesday will separate 8-month-old conjoined twins from Upstate New York, the culmination of months of planning.

The twins, Allison and Amelia Tucker of Adams, N.Y., who were born at Children's in March, are joined at the lower chest and abdomen and share their chest wall, diaphragm, pericardium (heart sac) and liver.

Lead surgeon Holly L. Hedrick called the twins "excellent candidates for separation."

"We expect that after surgery, recovery, and therapy, the girls will be able to live full, healthy and independent lives," she said in a statement.

This will be the 21st separation surgery on conjoined twins performed at Children's, officials said.

Conjoined twins occur once in every 50,000 to 60,000 births; most are stillborn. About 75 percent of conjoined twins are female and joined at least partially at the chest. If they have separate sets of organs, chances for surgery and survival are greater than if they share the same organs, officials said.

   - Marie McCullough

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