Conjoined twins separated in 12-hour surgery

A set of conjoined twin boys born in Florida were separated Thursday after a surgery to divide their fused livers.

Carter and Connor, who were born Dec. 12, 2014, underwent surgery at Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., according to a news release. A 17-member surgical care team separated them in 12 hours, after which each boy was transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at the hospital.

A day after their birth, the twins required emergency surgery to repair a ruptured omphalocele, in which their shared small intestine was protruding through a weak area of the abdominal wall. This potentially life-threatening condition was fixed by replacement of their small intestine into the abdomen with a temporary mesh patch over it to keep the bowel inside. In early January, surgeons removed the temporary mesh and separated the small intestine to allow the babies to feed orally.

According to the news release, the separation surgery was successful.

“The 24 to 48 hours following surgery were crucial, but the boys are being ably cared for by our PICU team,” Dr. Solange Benjamin, medical director of the PICU, said in the news release . “The twins are still critical but stable at this time, which is expected.”

The boys were born to Michelle Brantley and fiancé Bryan Mirabel, weighing a total of 10 pounds, 2 ounces; Carter was 19 inches long and Conner was 18 inches long. According to the news release, conjoined twins occur in an estimated one in every 100,000 to one in every 200,000 births.

“We are so grateful to everyone who has taken care of our babies,” Brantley said in the news release. “We had so much confidence in them, and they have been so good to us and to our family. We can’t wait to take Carter and Conner home!”