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Health

Doctors at Children's separate conjoined twins

Luis Fábregas
| Monday, Feb. 16, 2009

Conjoined twins from Cleveland were successfully separated by surgeons at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, officials announced Monday.

The 2-year-old girls, Dagian and Danielle Lee, are doing well following a surgery performed Dec. 13.

"We're optimistic Dagian and Danielle will continue their strong recovery," said Dr. Joseph Losee, chief of pediatric plastic surgery at Children's. "They should have a healthy life."

The girls were joined from the upper chest to the pelvis. They shared a colon and had livers that were connected but did not share blood supply, Losee said. The girls have been hospitalized for most of their life and underwent 10 surgeries prior to the separation.

Their mother, Catherine Nickson, told reporters she is delighted her daughters are doing so well. She has noticed a difference in the twins since the surgery, she said.

"They are happier because they can go to bed without punching each other in the face," said Nickson, 26.

The surgery to separate the girls lasted 24 hours. About 50 physicians and urses were involved with the pre-operative care or in the surgery itself, officials said.

Conjoined twins occur in about one in every 100,000 births. It is the first time doctors at Children's have performed the procedure.

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