This September 2016 photo provided by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia shows conjoined twin girls Abby Delaney, right, and Erin at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia. Hospital officials say surgeons successfully separated the 10-month-old twins June 6, 2017, during an 11-hour surgery. (Ed Cunicelli/Children's Hospital of Philadelphia via AP)
Photo: Ed Cunicelli/AP
Photo: Ed Cunicelli/AP

10-month-old conjoined twins in North Carolina successfully separated

Ten-month-old conjoined twins from Mooresville, North Carolina, are continuing to recover after doctors successfully separated them.

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Erin and Abby Delaney were joined at the top of their heads when born 10 weeks premature July 24.

CBS News reported that the 11-hour surgery took place June 6 at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Gregory Heuer, a neurosurgeon and Dr. Jesse Taylor, a plastic surgeon, led the operation, which included a 30-member team of medical staff.

The team was divided in two halves, with each group being devoted to one baby.

“Separating conjoined twins is a very complex surgery followed by a long and complicated recovery, but we are very hopeful for a positive outcome,” Taylor said in a statement. “Erin and Abby are now recovering in our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit under close monitoring by our expert teams.”

Parents Heather and Riley Delaney look forward to bringing the girls home separately. 

“When we go home, it’s going to be a big party,” Delaney said. “Welcome home, baby shower, first birthday.”

In this April 17, 2017, photo provided by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Heather Delaney, left rear, and Riley Delaney care for their conjoined twin daughters Abby, left, and Erin, who had been preparing for separation surgery by undergoing treatment to expand skin on their scalps using implanted balloons, at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia. Hospital officials say surgeons successfully separated the 10-month-old twins June 6 during an 11-hour surgery. (Ed Cunicelli/Children's Hospital of Philadelphia via AP)
Photo: Ed Cunicelli/AP

According to CHOP, conjoined twins occur once in every 50,000-60,000 births. Most conjoined twins are connected at the chest. Craniopagus, conjoined twins fused at the skull, are the rarest of conjoined twins, occurring in 2 percent of cases.

The hospital said it has separated 23 sets of conjoined twins since 1957.

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