Two sisters in Texas are spending their first hours apart Tuesday—literally. KZTV reports conjoined sisters Ximena and Scarlett Hernandez-Torres have been successfully separated in an operation their mother calls a "miracle." The sisters, who were connected below the waist and shared a colon and bladders, were born nearly 11 months ago. They've been living in the hospital since then as doctors prepared to separate them, according to Fox 7 Austin. The hours-long surgery Tuesday required nine surgeons, 10 nurses, and eight anesthesiologists.
After separating the sisters, doctors set about reconstructing their colons and bladders. Scarlett and Ximena are expected to recover, and their mother, Silvia Torres, says they are already adapting to being separated. "Thank you all for your prayers," reads a message posted to the sisters' Facebook page following Tuesday's surgery. Ximena and Scarlett will require additional surgeries as they get older. The sisters are actually triplets; their third sister was born without complications. Conjoined siblings occur about once in every 200,000 births. (Read more conjoined twins stories.)