Successful Separation of Conjoined Twins Brings Victory

conjoined twins

Medical shows on television often show successful separations of conjoined twins, making it look easy. But in fact, in the real world separating conjoined twins successfully is not as simple as 1-2-3, but with the newest surgery in Florida being a success, it has brought real life a little victory.

The Mirabal’s twins were joined at the abdomen and shared many necessary organs, such as the liver, intestines, and bile ducts, but doctors were almost confident that they could separate the two and help them gain their independence. Many were pulling support for the babies, Connor and Carter, whose parents were unsure if they would be getting both babies back. But in the end, it was a happy story for the Mirabal family.

The process of babies being conjoined twins is just one of those things in life that happen unexpectedly. A women produces one egg, as normal, to create identical twins but as the developing embryo separates into two, it unusually stops somewhere along the way. The twins are born, still joined together and often times they share some of the same organs, just as they shared many other things in the womb.

Scientists estimate that only one in 200,000 live births produce conjoined twins and often times, due to the nature of the event, the twins do not survive for long. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center 35 percent of conjoined twins survive only one day and 40 to 60 percent are stillborn. Statistics also show that female conjoined twins have a better shot at survival, though the reason for this in unknown.

Because of all of the statistics weighing against them, the separation of Connor and Carter was a major victory. As boys often do not survive, and many surgeries are not successful, the fact that the two twins are now living apart from each other is rare. The boys were separated at 3:34 p.m. on May 7, 2015. Doctors began the surgery shortly after seven in the morning.

More than a dozen doctors at the Nemours Children’s Specialty Care Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida worked on the twins in surgery and the event lasted 12 hours. Sources state that the trick was for the doctors to determine how much of each shared organ to give to both twins in order for them to survive. As they shared vital organs their health, digestive system, and life could have been severely compromised if the doctors had not figured out just the right amount.

However, the surgery of the conjoined twins brought about a successful separation and doctors and nurses at the hospital celebrated the victory with the parents. The five-month-old boys are now living life apart and doctors state they have a great chance of having normal lives. Though they are both in intensive care units, recovering from the surgery, they are apparently doing well. Doctors state that the boys will probably spend a month in the care units, but at least they are in separate rooms, now.

The doctors at Nemours spent months running over scenarios and gathering facts, in order to perform a successful separation of the conjoined twins, but they believed that they could bring victory in the end. Nemours report states that the boys were seen by over 200 health care professionals in their short lifetime of five months.

The boys had also underwent previous surgeries in order to make repairs on some of the things that went wrong, with their health. As many babies, especially conjoined twins, often have problems after birth, repairing their health status and letting them have time to heal was imperative to being able to do a successful separation surgery.

For the first five months of life, Connor and Carter, faced struggles, but now doctors state that their birth as conjoined twins will only be something that their relatives can tell them about in their future. As the twins were successfully separated, they can now live independent lives as normal boys. When Bryan Mirabal and fiance Michelle leave Nemours, they will be taking home two healthy, happy baby boys.

By Crystal Boulware


University of Maryland
ABC News

Photo Source:

Artur Bergman – Creativecommons Flickr License

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