Formerly conjoined Dominican twins home for Christmas

Two formerly conjoined toddlers from the Dominican Republic are recovering from separation surgery and doctors expect them to be home by Christmas, the Associated Press reports.

As María and Teresa Tapia left hospital they clapped and waved and one kissed the lead doctor of their surgical team. “I thank God and everyone who made this possible,” said the girls’ mother, Lisandra Sanatis.

The 20-month-old twins were attached at the lower chest and had surgery lasting nearly a day last month. The surgeons divided the twins’ liver, pancreas and other shared organ systems and reconstructed their abdominal walls.

The twins still stay near each other and hold hands when they walk.

Dr David Lanning of the Children’s Hospital of Richmond said the little girls were recovering well.

Doctors didn’t expect them to need any long-term medical treatment, except possible minor surgery to construct belly buttons.

Conjoined twins account for between 1 in 50,000 and 1 in 100,000 live births worldwide.

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