Conjoined twins successfully separated

Sept. 14, 2011 at 1:39 PM

MEMPHIS, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Conjoined twins, born attached at the pelvis and lower spine, have been successfully separated at a Memphis children's hospital, doctors said.

Surgeons at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital operated for 13 hours to separate the twins in what hospital officials called the most complex procedure every performed in the history of the facility, The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported Wednesday.

Joshua and Jacob Spates of Memphis, though joined at the lower spine and pelvis, have separate hearts, heads and limbs.

Doctors said the twins have health problems that will require ongoing treatment, but said they hope both will be able to walk with braces.

In 2009 the hospital launched the Le Bonheur Fetal Center to monitor and handle high-risk pregnancies involving congenital abnormalities.

Occurring about once every 200,000 live births, conjoined twins are extremely rare, health experts said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
Van hauling fireworks catches fire on I-15 near California-Nevada border
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Police arrest Wisconsin man who allegedly threatened to kill Obama