Seven weeks after birth, doctors at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) successfully separated twins that were conjoined at the abdomen. The two girls were born by caesarean section in the 33rd week of pregnancy in mid-August, the hospital in Hamburg announced. The delivery was carried out by a large team of doctors from various disciplines.

The parents from northern Germany found out during the 10th week of pregnancy that their twins were unusually close together. A further examination at the UKE confirmed in the 12th week of pregnancy that they were connected at the abdomen. The mother was then closely cared for until the birth.

“It was a special challenge because with a normal twin birth, only one child has to fit through the opening of the uterus, as they are brought into the world one after the other,” said the clinic’s director, Kurt Hecher. “In this case, there were two children at the same time. We are all the more pleased with the parents and their family about the happy outcome of this very special pregnancy and birth.”

Even before birth, it was determined using ultrasound and fetal MRI that all vital organs were present in both twins and that only the abdominal wall and the two livers had fused. In a four-hour procedure, they were separated and the bellies of both twins were closed.