Our Doctors Help Separate Conjoined Twins

Our anesthesiologists, Drs. Pitkin, Irwin, Greene, Moore and Davies, help separate conjoined twins in a groundbreaking procedure.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Conjoined twin girls who were connected at the heart and other organs have been successfully separated in an extremely rare surgery performed by physicians at University Florida Health Shands Children’s Hospital in Gainesville.

The girls, who were born at UF Health Shands Hospital in April and separated in June, each had their own complete set of organs but were attached at the liver, diaphragm, sternum and heart, called a thoraco-omphalopagus connection.

During the the procedure, which spanned about six to eight hours, a pediatric surgery team with two surgeons, a cardiothoracic surgery team with two surgeons, two pediatric cardiac anesthesiology teams, a pediatric cardiac imaging team, and multiple nursing and ancillary staff worked to safely and successfully separate the infants.

To keep the various equipment keeping the twins alive during the surgery separated and easily identifiable, the staff wrapped tubing and electrical wiring with orange tape for one of the twins and blue tape for her sister, according to anesthesiologist Andrew Pitkin, MBBS, MRCP, FRCA.