HEALTH

Conjoined Twins Separated
Maria and Teresa Tapia were born joined at the lower chest and abdomen, sharing a liver, pancreas and portion of the small intestine.
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Lisandra Sanatis, left, holds her daughter, Theresa Tapia, as Rocio Watson, of the World Pediatric Project, a charity group that helped sponsor the operation, right, holds Maria Tapia in their room at Childrens Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., Thursday Dec. 1, 2011.

(AP)

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Twenty-month-old formerly conjoined twins Teresa, left, and Maria Tapia are released from Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 in Richmond, Va. The sisters, from the Dominican Republic, were conjoined at the lower chest and abdomen and successfully separated at the hospital on November 8. Teresa, left, is carried by Rocio Watson, program director at World Pediatric Project, and Maria is carried by her aunt Maria Estela Reynaldo, as the twins' mother Lisandra Sanatis follows closely and hospital staff line the way. 

(AP)

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Twenty-month-old formerly conjoined twins Teresa, left, and Maria Tapia are released from Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 in Richmond, Va. Teresa, left, is carried by Rocio Watson, program director at World Pediatric Project, and Maria is carried by her aunt Maria Estela Reynaldo, as the twins' mother Lisandra Sanatis follows. 

(AP)

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Formerly conjoined twin Teresa is carried by Rocio Watson, program director at World Pediatric Project, as hospital staff line the way as the twins are released from Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. 

(AP)

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Lisandra Sanatis, left, holds her daughter, Theresa Tapia, as Rocio Watson, of the World Pediatric Project, a charity group that helped sponsor the operation, right, holds Maria Tapia in their room at Childrens Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., Thursday Dec. 1, 2011.

(AP)

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Maria Tapia, and TeresaTapia play in a playroom at Childrens Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., Thursday Dec. 1, 2011. The conjoined twins were separated during an operation at the hospital Nov. 8, 2011. 

(AP)

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Lisandra Sanatis holds her daughter, Teresa Tapia, in their room at Childrens Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., Thursday Dec. 1, 2011. Sanatis' conjoined twin daughters were separated during an operation at the hospital Nov. 8, 2011. 

(AP)

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Maria Tapia, and TeresaTapia play in a playroom at Childrens Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., Thursday Dec. 1, 2011. The conjoined twins were separated during an operation at the hospital Nov. 8, 2011.

(AP)

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Maria Tapia, and TeresaTapia play in a playroom at Childrens Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., Thursday Dec. 1, 2011. The conjoined twins were separated during an operation at the hospital Nov. 8, 2011. 

(AP)

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Conjoined twins Maria Tapia and Teresa Tapia, right, are held by their mother, Lisandra Sanatis as they play in a community room in Richmond, Va.

(AP)

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The girls from the Dominican Republic were separated at the Childrens Hospital of Richmond at VCU, during a 20-hour surgery Monday, Nov. 8, 2011. 

(AP)

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A team led by Dr. David Lanning, surgeon-in-chief at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, completed a 20-hour surgery. 

(AP)

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Program director Kim Gottwald carries conjoined twins Maria, left, and Teresa Tapia to a play room. The procedure included dividing the liver, pancreas and other shared organs and reconstructing their abdominal walls.

(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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The 19-month-old twins and their family have become celebrities in the Dominican Republic. The country's first lady flew to Richmond to support them.

(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Conjoined twins Maria, middle, and Teresa Tapia, get a kiss from their mother. The World Pediatric Project, a nonprofit surgical-care provider for children in Central America and the Caribbean, sponsored the twins' medical care, along with the family's stay in the United States.

(AP)

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Conjoined twins Maria, left, and Teresa Tapia keep a close eye on surgeon David Lanning, surgeon-in-chief at Children's Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed a 20-hour surgery on Maria and an 18.5-hour surgery on Teresa.

(AP)

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Conjoined twins Maria, left, and Teresa Tapia play as their mother, Lisandra Sanatis watches in a community room in Richmond, Va. Sanatis said she has always dreamed of seeing her 19-month-old daughters as separate and independent children.

(AP2011)

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Lisandra Sanatis, mother of conjoined twins Maria and Teresa Tapia smiles during an interview in Richmond, Va. Sanatis, 24, and the girls arrived in Richmond about two months ago to prepare for the lengthy, intricate surgery.

(AP)

Conjoined Twins Separated

Maria and Teresa Tapia were born joined at the lower chest and abdomen, sharing a liver, pancreas and portion of the small intestine.

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