The conjoined twins Angelica and Angelina Sabuco, who were born sharing a chest and an abdomen, will return to their San Jose home from hospital in separate car seats.
The twins, 2, who were born in Philippines and live in California, underwent a 10-hours of successful surgery, which consisted of five separation procedures, on Nov. 1, 2011 at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.
The medical team comprised of more than 40 doctors, nurses and staff.
They are recovering very, very well, lead surgeon Dr. Gary Hartman said. Our goal is to return as many children as we can to happy, healthy lives.
Within 72 hours of the surgery, the twins were breathing on their own. Within a week, they had moved from intensive care to a regular hospital room. It's been two weeks since the twins' successful separation surgery. The sisters now are off pain medications and their once shared livers are functioning normally, Hartman said.
The twins will continue to receive weekly outpatient therapy. And they will also see a plastic surgeon, Dr. Peter Lorenz, for follow-up procedures. According to Lorenz, the girls' chest walls have a bit of an abnormal shape. However, it can be molded as they grow.
The girls also should continue physical and occupational therapy to build strength and develop their motor skills, the hospital said. For when the twins were conjoined, they used to walk by moving sideways. However, now they must learn how to move forward and backward.
Balance is the biggest challenge, physical therapist Amy Weisman said. They are now taking steps with support.
On Nov. 14, Angelina and Angelica attended a news conference at the hospital their successful operation. They wore red dresses and were held by their mother Ginady Sabuco and aunt.
We're so excited now to go home and see them sitting in their own car seats, their mother said. We cannot wait to see them playing, walking and running.
When the girls woke up after surgery, Sabuco said, Angelina and Angelica looked around and called out mama. And at that moment, all the hardships went away.
The surgery was paid for by the family's health insurance.
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