Conjoined TX Twins Separated in Rare Surgery


JamieLynn and AimeeLynn underwent separation surgery at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas | Image by Cook Children's Medical Center

For the first time at Fort Worth’s Cook Children’s Medical Center, doctors successfully separated conjoined twins.

The twin girls, JamieLynn and AmieLynn, were born on October 3, 2022, at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth to parents Amanda Arciniega and James Finley.

Delivered prematurely at 34 weeks, they weighed 4 pounds and 7.8 ounces.

The sisters were transferred to the NICU at Cook Children’s, where they remained under the care of their neonatologists and were successfully separated in a surgery performed on Monday, the hospital announced.

Cook Children’s described the surgery as “rare” and “groundbreaking” in a Wednesday news conference where the medical team discussed what it took to separate the two girls.

JamieLynn and AmieLynn’s intricate surgery required more than double the number of surgeons, nurses, and support staff a typical surgery would.

Their medical team included two plastic surgeons, four pediatric surgeons, three anesthesiologists, and 18 other clinical professionals separated into two teams, one for each girl.

“The team comprises dozens of medical experts from across multiple specialties. They collaborated on this procedure, leveraging the team’s expertise in treating the most difficult and complex pediatric conditions,” the hospital said.

The sisters were born facing each other and sharing a liver, which was successfully divided during the 11-hour procedure.

“They were joined from the lower part of the breast bone to their belly button,” said Dr. Jose L. Iglesias, the lead surgeon who operated on the infants.

The hospital showed a video during the news conference, which showed the five hours of prep work that went into the surgery and when a surgeon told James and Amanda that their daughters were separated and sleeping safely on their backs.

Both babies’ bellies were surgically closed, and the twin girls are beginning their healing process together but separately.

The girls are back in Cook Children’s NICU care and will continue to receive care there. Doctors said it is still early to say when the girls could return to their Fort Worth home.

Doctors are optimistic that the girls will heal, with their primary focus on breathing support and pain control for the next few days.

“At this stage in AmieLynn and JamieLynn’s growth and development, this was the right time for them to have the surgery,” said Dr. Mary Frances Lynch, a neonatologist at Cook Children’s.

“Separation now will benefit AmieLynn and JamieLynn by allowing them to continue reaching important growth and development milestones in their individual health journeys.”

“We still have a long way to go,” Lynch added.

Finley and Arciniega were able to visit their daughters shortly after the surgery. The parents spoke about their excitement at the successful surgery at the news conference.

“Sometimes I feel like I need to be the strength and pillar of my family and that’s what I am,” said the girls’ father James. “We didn’t think it was gonna happen. A lot of doctors told us that a lot of conjoined twins don’t live that long.”

The frequency of the occurrence of conjoined twins is not well recorded but is estimated to be between 1 in 30,000 to 1 in 200,000 worldwide, according to Stanford Medicine Children’s Health.

Though the exact frequency of conjoined twins is unknown, physicians know that about half who are born alive do not survive for more than 24 hours.

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1 month ago

Durn! There’s that mist again! Don’t know where it’s comin’ from but it makes my eyes water.