Conjoined twins undergo separation surgery in Va.

November 8, 2011 - 2:05 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Conjoined twin girls from the Dominican Republic have been surgically separated at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Maria and Teresa Tapia were born joined at the lower chest and abdomen, and shared a liver and other organs.

A team led by Dr. David Lanning, surgeon-in-chief at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, completed a 20-hour surgery Monday on Maria and an 18.5-hour surgery on Teresa. The procedure included dividing the liver, pancreas and other shared organs and reconstructing their abdominal walls.

Lanning says the 19-month-old girls are in stable condition in pediatric intensive care.

The toddlers and their mother, Lisandra Sanatis, arrived in Richmond about two months ago to prepare for the lengthy, intricate surgery.