The one-year-old Israeli twins, who were born attached to the head, were separated after a rare and complicated surgery.
Twin sisters must lead healthy lives after surgery. The operation took place at the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva with a medical team of more than 50 people, according to the Israeli outlet Ynet.
The girls are alert, conscious, and crying and their heads are bandaged. In the days after surgery, they were separated for care and then placed in the same crib for the first time on Sunday.
“This is a rare and complex operation performed only about 20 times in the world so far, and for the first time in Israel,” Mickey Gideon, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Soroka Medical Center, said in a statement.
“They are recovering very well. They are breathing and eating by themselves, the next evaluations will give more clarity as to the real state of each one, in the same way, we are optimistic,” added the doctor.
Twins conjoined at the head are extremely rare, a University of Minnesota study reported that these cases only occur once every 200,000 live births.
The medical team began planning the separation surgery while the twins were still in the womb.
At 34 weeks after their birth, doctors repeatedly examined them to get a more detailed and accurate understanding of their brains and bodies.
In order to close the two girls’ scalps after separation, the babies had skin and tissue expanders inserted into their heads several months ago.
During the operation, after the doctors separated their blood vessels and bones, they divided into two teams and two separate operating rooms to reconstruct each baby’s skulls and scalp.
The surgery extended for over 12 hours and involved specialists in various fields, including neurosurgery, plastic surgery, pediatric intensive care, and brain imaging. Two experts from London and New York with experience in separating twins participated.