Siamese Twins Separated
NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Siamese twin boys were in critical but stable condition today, breathing through respirators after being separated in a 5 1/2 -hour operation.
The 6-week-old babies, Danny and Kenny Chappell of Shreveport, were joined at the chest and shared a liver, but no other organs, Ochsner Foundation Hospital said in a statement following Tuesday’s surgery.
″It wasn’t the easier type (of operation)″ said one of the surgeons, Dr. Robert Arensman. ″But we had good evidence that their hearts and lungs were totally separated, so we knew that part of the operation would go well.″
Arensman and Dr. Kenneth Falterman performed the operation at the hospital Tuesday.
The twins were able to survive the separation because they had duplicate bile ducts and liver arteries. The liver itself was separated and is shared between the two.
″We were able to divide them right down the fusion line,″ Arensman said Wednesday.
The twins were born Aug. 25 at the Louisiana State University Medical Center in Shreveport and were flown to Ochsner that same day, hospital spokeswoman Colette Dean said.
The doctors said it was necessary to delay the surgery until the twins grew, stabilized and overcame problems associated with poorly developed lungs.
Danny weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces this week. Kenny was 7 pounds, 8 ounces.
The boys’ mother Tammy Chappell, 20, a nursing student said: ″We’d like to thank everyone for their prayers. We think they have been answered so far.″
Her husband, Danny, 32, is a painter and roofing repairman.
The boys will be in the hospital for about a month for respiratory treatment and skin grafts to replace skin taken from their sides and backs and used to help close the incisions, Arensman said.