Conjoined Twins Recovering After Separation Surgery

"Both Allison and Amelia are doing well, and we expect them both to enjoy full, healthy and independent lives," said Dr. Holly L. Hedrick, the pediatric general, thoracic and fetal surgeon who led the 40-member multidisciplinary team that carried out the complex separation early last month. It was the 21st time that The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has separated a pair of conjoined twins.

Allison is home with her parents now, while Amelia remains in the hospital.

"The separation was successful because of the bravery of the family and the team," Hedrick said Thursday. "I'm convinced that Allison, the smaller twin, is the tougher one. She was the first to have her drainage tube removed and first to be discharged. Amelia also tough but a little more laid back. She's the larger twin but she's had a more challenging recovery. But she's improving every day."

The sisters love being held and love being together, their mother said.

"Once they are held they are happy. When they get together they are totally different babies. You can tell they are happy and relieved to be with their sister," Shellie Tucker said. She seemed to agree with Hedrick's take on her daughters' personalities: "Allison is the feisty one, like her brother... kind of loud. Amelia is laid back, very serious. But once she relaxes she welcomes you with smiles every time."

Image: Surgeons, via Shutterstock


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