Image of the Day: Conjoined and Separated
Image of the Day: Conjoined and Separated

Image of the Day: Conjoined and Separated

Now two years old, the Delaney twins were born joined at the head and were successfully separated in June 2017.

Jan 28, 2019
Carolyn Wilke

ABOVE: Erin and Abby Delaney were born conjoined at the tops of their heads.
CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA

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.

The Delaney twins are now happily at home.
CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA

G.G. Heuer et al,. “Separation of craniopagus twins by a multidisciplinary team,” New England Journal of Medicine, doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1805132, 2019.