Conjoined twin girls separated after major six-hour surgery

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Over two dozen doctors successfully separated 15-month-old conjoined twin girls in Australia.
USA TODAY

Conjoined twins, 15-month-old girls, were separated into intensive six-hour surgery in Australia on Friday.

Nima and Dawa Pelden were connected to the torso and shared in liver. Before the surgery, at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, they were unsure if they were shared with bowel – which would have been an added complication.

Joe Crameri said at a news conference "We always felt that we could achieve this". "But we just did not know what we would find."

A team of about 25 clinicians, including the Bhutan pediatrician who had treated the girls since birth, successfully separated the baby girls, dividing their liver. The girls did not take part in bowel.

Crameri said the babies are now recovering "well" and breathing independently.

The twins traveled with their mother from the Himalayan nation of Bhutan to Australia, a 26-hour flight with a stop in Bangkok, for the surgery, according to News Corp Australia.

"These little girls are extra special because we did not do this surgery … we are just interested if they would live," Elizabeth Lodge, Children First Foundation CEO, told Australian media.

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Conjoined twins are extremely rare, and often die in the womb or shortly after birth, Mayo Clinic notes. The success of separation surgery often depends on how many organs the twins share.

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

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