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Chilean Doctors Successfully Separate Conjoined Twins

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December 13, 2011: In this image taken from a video released by Luis Calvo Mackenna hospital, Jessica Navarrete, right, and Roberto Paredes, parents of conjoined twins Maria Paz and Maria Jose Paredes Navarrete kiss them before a separation surgery in Santiago, Chile. (AP)

A hospital official says doctors have separated conjoined twin girls after a marathon 18-hour surgery that Chileans followed on television and the Internet.

An official at Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, said early Wednesday that the 10-month-old twins are in stable condition as teams of doctors work on them individually after they were separated.

Parents Jessica Navarrete and Roberto Paredes kept an anxious vigil at the Santiago hospital as doctors separated twins Maria Paz and Maria Jose at the thorax, stomach and pelvis. It was the seventh and most complex operation yet for the twins.

Navarrete said she was waiting for "a miracle from God" when the high-risk operation began Tuesday morning.

The Chilean twins presented a particularly difficult challenge because they were born sharing many of the same internal organs and even urinary system.

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