SANTO DOMINGO – The Siamese twins born last week at a hospital in the Dominican Republic’s capital cannot be separated because they share a large number of organs, Dr. Cristina Paulino, head of the hospital’s pediatric surgery unit, said Monday.
The conjoined twins, who were born on Friday at Santo Domingo’s Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia Maternity Hospital, are in the intensive care unit.
The girls are attached at the chest and share a liver, diaphragm and single set of intestines, although each baby has her own stomach.
The Siamese twins, who were born via Caesarean section at 38 weeks, have two hearts but just one aorta, making it “impossible” to separate them, Paulino told reporters.
“We have never proposed separating the Siamese (twins),” the specialist said.
The babies were born to a 32-year-old first-time mother who is recovering from the C-section, which was planned after doctors detected the conjoined twins early in the pregnancy.
In February 2016, Siamese twins were born in the Dominican Republic.
The two girls – Ballenie and Bellanie – were successfully separated by doctors in New York in January 2017.
Ballenie and Bellanie were attached in the lower back had to undergo several operations before being separated.
The girls were attached in the gastrointestinal area and shared an internal iliac artery, or hypogastric artery, which supplies blood to the pelvic region, hips, muscles and reproductive organs.
Conjoined twins, according to figures, occur about once in every 200,000 births and have a low survival rate that ranges between 5 percent and 25 percent at birth, and around 53 percent following separation.
The majority of Siamese twins are attached at the chest, pelvis or buttocks. About half of these babies are stillborn.