In a miraculous story out of London, Sudanese twins conjoined at the tops of their heads were successfully separated in risky four-stage operation, officials announced yesterday. Rital and Ritag Gaboura, 11 months old, went through their final separation last month and were “interacting and playing as before” within days, according to a statement. They are expected to return home soon as “two healthy, separate girls,” says the executive coordinator of the charity that helped fund the procedures.
The girls had their first two operations in May, followed by a third procedure in July, the AP reports. Separating craniopagus twins, which occur just once in every 2.5 million births, can be dangerous, and the lead surgeon says that surviving craniopagus twins are “extremely rare.” One of the first operations to successfully separate such a pair was in 1956, and two recent successes took place in Dallas and New York in 2003 and 2004.