A set of conjoined twin girls have been separated by doctors in Switzerland, becoming the youngest pair to successfully undergo the operation at just eight days old.
Lydia and Maya were born in December at the Inselspital hospital in Bern, Switzerland, along with a triplet sister who was fully separate and healthy. The babies were eight weeks premature, weighed just four pounds, 14 ounces, and were fused at the liver and chest.
According to a statement released by the hosptial, the twins were "extensively conjoined on the liver, but had all vital organs," though one of the twins had too much blood and very high blood pressure, while the other twin did not have enough.
While doctors had originally planned to separate the girls when they were several months old, after they each suffered a life-threatening condition, the procedure was moved up. At eight days old, the twins had only a 1 percent chance of being successfully separated. "Such small conjoined siblings had never been successfully separated before," the hospital said.
A team of 13 medical professionals took five hours to separate the girls. "The perfect teamwork of physicians and nursing personnel from various disciplines were the key to success here," said Steffen Berger, head of pediatric surgery. "We are very happy that the children and parents are faring so well now."
The girls also underwent surgery to close their abdominal walls and are now recovering in a pediatric intensive care ward. The hospital says the children are "still very small" but developing well.