Sisters who spent the first two years of their lives joined at the chest and abdomen have been successfully separated. Yesterday's nearly 10-hour operation at a Stanford hospital began at 6:30am; by about noon Angelina and Angelica Sabuco were no longer conjoined. Some 20 physicians spent the rest of the time reconstructing their chest walls, skin, and abdominal muscles. The riskiest step involved separating their fused livers, due to the potential for serious blood loss, explained lead surgeon Dr. Gary Hartman.
Their diaphragms, breast bones, and chest and abdominal muscles were also fused, but each has her own heart, kidneys, stomach, and intestines. "The long-term prognosis is that we would expect a happy, healthy set of girls," said Hartman. "We don't see any barriers to a complete recovery." The girls should be discharged from the hospital within three weeks, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.