Conjoined twin boys have been separated successfully.
Jacob and Joshua Spates of Memphis, Tennessee were separated on Aug. 29, but the announcement was made on Tuesday and surgeons spoke to reporters on Wednesday.
Most conjoined twins don't ever get a chance to get to separation because they die from complications at delivery, chief of pediatric surgery at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Max Langham said, Reuters reported.
Langham led the surgery on the 7-month-old boys.
The boys were pygopagus twins, which means they were joined at the pelvis and lower spine, but had separate limbs, hearts and heads, Reuters reported.
They shared a rectum, muscles and nerves, according to a hospital press release. Surgeons had to separate the boys' spinal cord and do gastrointestinal repairs.
Anesthesiologists needed to be able to flip the babies over without getting their wires tangled, so they practiced on a pair of Cabbage Patch dolls sewn together, which caused a great deal of laughter but proved to be the key to surgical success, the Associated Press reported.
By the time the day of the surgery came, you would have thought we'd been doing it a long time, said Joel Saltzman, director of pediatric anesthesiology Joel Saltzman said, the AP reported.
The boys still have health problems that will need attention, but doctors believe both boys will be able to walk with braces, the AP reported.
The outlook is bright as far as them being functional in the community, orthopedic surgeon Bill Warner said.