Twins Erin and Abby Delaney were born attached at the tops of their heads. Surgeons successfully separated the conjoined twins when they were 10 months old during an 11-hour operation in June 2017. The twins are now two years old and their parents say they are thriving.
The surgical team used a 3D-printed model to help them plan their approach. Months before the full operation, the surgeons cut into skull bone where the twins were joined and attached a custom device that slowly pushed the twins apart by one to two millimeters a day. During the final surgery, the team operated to separate the twins’ interconnected blood vessels with the aid of a sophisticated software navigation system. The surgical team leaders described the surgery in a January 24 article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
G.G. Heuer et al,. “Separation of craniopagus twins by a multidisciplinary team,” New England Journal of Medicine, doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1805132, 2019.