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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Op 'success' for conjoined twins
Kendra and Maliyah before the operation
The operation lasted 16 hours
Four-year-old conjoined-twin girls have been separated after undergoing 16 hours of surgery.

Kendra and Maliyah Herrin were born with their bodies joined at the abdomen and with a shared pelvis and kidney.

It is thought to be the first time conjoined-twins sharing one kidney have been separated.

They are still having reconstructive surgery at the hospital in Salt Lake City in the US, and doctors told the parents the girls face a long recovery.

Siamese, or conjoined twins, originate from a single fertilised egg. Such twins are extremely rare, occurring in as few as one in every 200,000 births.

The overall survival rate is between 5% and 25%.

'Miracle'

Father Jake Herrin said: "We'd just like to formally announce that we have two separate little girls.

"We've really witnessed a miracle."

And mother Erin added: "We can't really put it into words how this day has been."

Full details of the girls' condition have not been released.

They entered surgery at the Primary Children's Medical Center on Monday morning where a team of six surgeons began the operation.

The single kidney stayed with Kendra because it is in her torso, while Maliyah will be put on dialysis until she is strong enough to receive a transplant from her mother.

During the operation, doctors also had to separate intestines, divide and reconstruct two bladders and reconstruct a shared pelvis.

Each girl was given one leg.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
See the twins before their operation



SEE ALSO
Ethics of separating twins
04 Oct 05 |  Health
Conjoined twins
06 Jul 03 |  Medical notes

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