The Trentonian's Strange But True Page

Monday, August 13, 2007

Surgery to separate conjoined twins called off

CLEVELAND (AP) - Doctors who had hoped to separate twin 3-year-old girls joined at the head called off the long-planned surgery permanently, saying the risk to the children was too great, the hospital announced Monday.
The parents of Tatiana and Anastasia Dogaru had viewed separation surgery at Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital as the girls' best hope, but the decision to cancel complied with their wish to avoid any procedure that could harm either girl.
The top of Tatiana's head is attached to the back of Anastasia's and they have never been able to look each other in the eye. Anastasia, the bigger twin, has no kidney function and relies on Tatiana's kidneys. Risks of the surgery include infection and heart failure.
The girls were born in Italy to Romanian parents. Alin Dogaru, a Byzantine Catholic priest, and his wife, Claudia, said in a videotaped statement played at hospital news conference Monday that they were thankful for the care the girls had received.
Twins born joined at the head - known as craniopagus twins - occur in about one in 2.5 million births.
The blonde girls have already beaten the odds by living this long. Most twins joined at the head die at birth and just 10 percent survive to age 10, according to the hospital.


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