Twins Survive Historic Separation Surgery

Apr 24, 2013

A progress update of the first- ever phased separation of conjoined twins sharing vital organs indicates both girls are doing just fine. The six-month-olds, A'zhari and A'zhiah Jones, spent their first full day completely separated at Virginia Commonwealth University after doctors performed a complex procedure that now allows them to live apart on the same liver.

The two Virginia babies are listed in critical but stable condition at the neonatal intensive care unit at VCU in separate rooms. As they move toward becoming more stable, they could be moved to a room sometime next week that's set up for twins

"We do plan to take A'zhari back to the operating room in about a week. Even though her chest and abdomen is closed, we'd like to wait for some of the swelling to come down and then advance some of the muscle in her chest," said Surgeon-in-Chief, Dr. David Lanning.

The girls were connected at the chest and abdomen and also shared part of their heart. Although the procedure to separate their liver occurred last year when the twins were just two weeks old, the process wasn't completed until this week so that they could grow stronger.  The latest operation took 14 hours to complete and included the separation of the shared pericardium that surrounded both hearts.  The girls’ mother is from Franklin, Virginia.