Conjoined Twins Surgery
After nine hours of surgery, conjoined twin sisters are spending their first day apart for the very first time.
Surgeon Dr. Gary Hartman says "we're very pleased, things basically could not've gone better today."
Surgeon Dr. Peter Lorenz says "of course it's going to take some time for them to get used to being separate but the procedure overall went really well."
Angelina and Angelica who a day ago wiggled together on their mother's lap - are now sleeping separately, in different beds, for the first time in their lives. They were with their mom, Genady Sabuco, before surgery then spent the next nine hours in an operating room with a team of 20 surgeons and nurses who'd rehearsed and mapped out every last detail of their separation.
The most difficult part: dividing the girls' livers and their veins. About two-thirds of the way through the surgery, one of the pediatric surgeons said the hard part was over.
Surgeon Dr. Matias Bruzoni says "we knew exactly what we were looking for. We found them, and using a stapling device we divide those veins and now they have the exact amount of liver on both sides, both twins have the same amount of liver."
The remainder of the surgery was reconstruction. Leading up to today, the girls had saline balloons under their skin to force it to stretch and grow so there would be enough to cover their chests and bellies where they were separated.
They will have scarring, but the lead surgeon, who's performed this kind of separation surgery six times now, says he expects nothing but a happy, healthy life for Angelica and Angelina Sabuco.
Dr. Gary Hartman says "it's obviously a unique situation for many of us and the mood was certainly light at the time of separation and quite light at the time of reconstruction as we saw how good and how happy we were with the reconstruction."
Dr. Peter Lorenz says "the two girls are separate now and they are basically going to just have a little scar to show for it."
With six conjunctive surgeries under his belt, Dr. Hartman has performed the procedure more than anyone else in the world.