Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated In Memphis - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Conjoined Twins Successfully Separated In Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Doctors at a Memphis, Tenn., hospital say practice was the key to successfully separating conjoined twins.

For the anesthesia team, that included sewing together two Cabbage Patch dolls to practice flipping them without tangling the various lines that would be attached during surgery.

Joshua and Jacob Spates were joined back to back at the pelvis and lower spine, each with separate hearts, heads and limbs.

They were separated on Aug. 29 but the successful surgery was not announced until yesterday.

Today, doctors involved in the procedure spoke to reporters about the challenges. That included avoiding injury to the spine that could leave them paraplegic.

Doctors said the boys have health problems that will require ongoing treatment, but they hope both will be able to walk with braces.
      
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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