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Formerly conjoined twins get ready to head home

Formerly conjoined twins Angelina and Angelica Sabuco are nearly ready to go home to San Jose, Calif. following their Nov. 1 separation surgery at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

"We are happy to be here today, ahead of schedule, to report to you that they are recovering very well," said Gary Hartman, MD, the surgeon who led the separation, at a press conference today at Packard Children's. "We are approaching discharge ahead of what we had anticipated."

"We're so excited now to go home and see them sitting in their own carseats," said the girls' mom, Ginady Sabuco. "We cannot wait to see them playing, walking and running."

The twins' recovery has gone very smoothly, with both girls moved from the pediatric intensive care unit to a regular hospital room on Nov. 7. Both girls are now off pain medications and eating normally. They are receiving physical therapy and occupational therapy and are learning to balance on their own, without each other as a counter-balance, and to walk forward instead of sideways.

In addition, the bone reconstructions in the girls' chest walls have been very stable, said Peter Lorenz, MD, the lead plastic surgeon on the case. However, "the chest wall still has a little bit of an abnormal shape - the ribs are still bent out a bit more than normal," he said. The plastic surgery team will work with the hospital's prosthetist to try to mold the girls' ribs as they grow.

Best of all, Angelica and Angelina are already acting just like ordinary toddlers, Hartman said. "This morning when I was rounding on them, they were both crying because they wanted the same toy," he said. "The parents now have two two-year-olds that are going to be running around the house – and not together but separately."

Previously: Two separate girls! Packard Children's surgeons separate conjoined twins and Conjoined twins' separation - a complex feat
Photos courtesy Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Top photo shows the Sabuco family with, left to right, Angelina, mom Ginady, big brother Vincent, Angelica and dad Fidel Sabuco; bottom photo shows members of the family and some of the medical team at today's press conference, including, left to right, surgeon Matias Bruzoni, MD; Angelina; mom Ginady; Lorenz; Hartman; Angelica; and the twins' aunt, Mari Sabuco.

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