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US Doctors 're-evaluating' Conjoined Twin Surgery

A US medical team is re-evaluating its attempt to separate three-year-old girls who are joined at the head, after halting a preliminary operation last week due to brain swelling , a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The twins, Anastasia and Tatiana Dogaru, "are doing very well" and have left the hospital to stay with their Romanian-born parents in a nearby Cleveland suburb, said Janice Guhl of Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.

"We are going to re-evaluate their case," Guhl said, declining to say how long it might be until doctors decide whether or not to move forward. "There is such a large medical team involved, placing a timeframe on it is difficult," she said.

Guhl said physicians on the 50-member medical team were still attempting to uncover the cause of the brain swelling in the dominant twin, Anastasia, which halted the first of what was to be a series of surgeries on Wednesday.

The top of Tatiana's head is fused to the back of her sister's head, in a rare medical disorder known as total angular craniopagus. The girls' brain tissue is connected and they share the same circulatory system. Doctors have admitted the attempt to separate the girls, who also have heart, kidney and bladder defects, was "very high-risk."


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