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February 13, 2010

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Home at last for miracle twin

THE younger sister of conjoined twin girls left the Children's Hospital of Fudan University yesterday after recovering from major heart surgery.

Surgeons separated her from her sister on December 8, seven days after delivery.

That was an emergency procedure due to the younger sister's infection. Usually, such surgery is carried out only after doctors have had time to make proper preparations, hospital officials said yesterday.

"Fortunately, both girls are healthy now and are expected to grow up like ordinary children," said Huang Guoying, hospital president.

The twins' parents took the elder sister to hospital yesterday to pick up the little girl and head home to celebrate their first Spring Festival.

The twins, from a local family, were delivered by cesarean section four weeks premature due to fetal distress. They were transferred to the children's hospital after delivery where doctors gave them respiration and circulation support due to poor development of their lungs.

The two girls were connected at the abdomen. The younger sister was found to have serious congenital heart disease, which could have killed her at any time.

Experts had planned separation surgery as well as the heart surgery for two weeks after delivery.

But the younger sister was in a critical condition on December 8 because of an intestinal infection and that infection could have affected her sister.

Doctors carried out emergency surgery that night to separate them.

The elder sister was discharged from hospital in late December.

The younger sister received heart surgery on December 25, where doctors successfully renovated deformed arteries in her tiny heart that was no bigger than that of a pigeon.


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