Doctors optimistic about separation of conjoined twins

by: Jessie McDonough Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Doctors from Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville gave an update on the recovery of conjoined twins Carter and Conner Mirabal on Monday. The twins had their first surgery toward separation last week. 

Doctors say they are optimistic that the full separation of the conjoined twins will be successful, but they're not out of the woods just yet.

"This is a very rare issue for any children's hospital to face," said Dr. Daniel Robie, who performed the surgery.

The twins' seven-hour surgery last week was to separate their small intestine.


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The Mirabal twins were born Dec. 12, weighing a total of 10 lbs and 2 oz.

Doctors say the twins each have a separate liver, but the organ is fused together. The twins also share a bile duct.

"As each baby feeds and the food goes into the stomach, it'll temporarily mix as it enters the small intestine but than it'll split again into their individual intestinal tract. So to speak, they'll still be sharing each other food," Robie said.


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The babies are breathing on their own, and their mother was able to see the twins Monday morning.

"It's pretty scary. Nerve wracking," said Michelle Brantley, the twins' mother.

Jasmine Mirabal, the boys' aunt, said things were rough at first, but as time passed, their hope grew.

"Them. Just seeing them everyday. They're enough motivation," said Jasmine Mirabal. "Of course we still have our fears, but we still have our faith."

Carter and Conner are now breathing on their own and will start eating soon. They will remain at Wolfson Children’s Hospital for the next six months, when their next surgery is scheduled. 

The doctors want the babies to grow as much as possible over the next six months. 

The doctors say the surgery was rare, because the twins are conjoined. They say they have done surgeries like this multiple times on infants that are not conjoined.  


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