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VCU performs separation surgery on conjoined twins
Date:11/8/2011

twins' family would not have had access to the advanced medical care and expertise needed for separation," said Susan Rickman, president of the World Pediatric Project. "We are most grateful for the many people who came together to help these girls and their family."

After the twins returned to the Dominican Republic, Lanning and his colleagues in the months following began to carefully map out a detailed treatment plan and conducted comprehensive research on the twins' anatomies to prepare for the separation procedure. This included studying MRI scans and imaging to determine the placement of the twins' shared organs.

At the end of August, the twins returned to Richmond with their mother and aunt and remained close to the hospital for additional exams, imaging and a procedure in which the surgeons placed tissue expanders in the twins. The balloon-like expanders enabled the growth of excess skin to be used for reconstruction following surgery.

In the months leading up to the procedure, the surgical team carefully planned the step-by-step detailed operative timetable, which included specifications on times for the various aspects of the surgery. The team also designated separate colors for the bandages and tubing that would belong to each child. For instance, Maria was mango and Teresa, turquoise.

The planning and support also extended beyond the medical community as several individuals and groups within VCU offered the twins their expertise. This included custom dresses created by the Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising; a plaster body casting mold made by a VCU Sculpture student to assist plastic surgeons in determining the best way to cosmetically care for the twins after separation; and a special car seat large enough to accommodate the twins for comfortable vehicle travel, which was designed by a VCU occupational therapist who also is a certified car seat technician.

Following separation, Teresa was take
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Contact: Malorie Burkett
mgburkett@vcu.edu
804-827-0889
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

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