POSTED: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 12:39pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 1:35pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Twin 19-month-old girls are living apart for the first time in their young lives.
They were born connected at the abdomen, sharing a liver and pancreas until doctors in Richmond, Virginia separated the girls successfully Tuesday.
Their incredible journey began ten months ago through the World Pediatric Project, which links pediatric surgeons to critically ill children in developing countries.
The girls were brought to Richmond from the Dominican Republic for evaluation and testing.
After months of mapping out a treatment plan, surgeons began the complex surgery early Monday morning.
Doctors are optimistic for a full recovery and say they could return home as early as five weeks from now.