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One Separated Twins Has Surgery

August 17, 2002

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ One of the Guatemalan twins born conjoined and separated last week underwent more surgery to battle a bacterial infection in the lining of her brain.

Maria Teresa Quiej Alvarez was in serious condition after Friday’s three-hour procedure, hospital officials said. Doctors drained blood from the brain of the 1-year-old that could have been contributing to the growth of the infection.

``I don’t really view this as a major setback in her recovery but more of a little bit of a bump in the road,″ Dr. Irwin Weiss said.

Despite the surgery, Maria Teresa and her sister, Maria de Jesus, were ``progressing nicely,″ Weiss said, adding that such follow-up procedures can be common after major surgery. ``Children are usually very resilient.″

Maria de Jesus remained in serious condition at Mattel Children’s Hospital at the University of California-Los Angeles. She was feeding from a baby bottle and eating standard baby food. Maria Teresa continued to be fed intravenously.

The twins were born joined at the head in rural Guatemala. Before the operation, they shared bone and blood vessels but had separate brains. They were separated in a more than 22-hour operation Aug. 6.

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