Conjoined Twins

Conjoined Twins (also known as Siamese Twins) can be devastating. Its a very rare complication with identical twin pregnancies, occurring in about 1 in every 200,000 pregnancies. Approximately half of those are still born, with others only surviving one day after birth. The survival rate for conjoined twins is between 5 and 25%. This is due to vital organs being connected and viability in the real world may not be possible.

Twins who are conjoined are more likely to be female (70%) due to the fact that female babies are stronger than males. Although male twins are more likely to conjoin in utero, female twins are 3 times more likely to be born alive. The same goes with premature babies, girls recover more easily and quickly (in general) than boys do.

Watch this amazing video about Abby and Brittany Hensel

Conjoined Twins - How Does It Happen?

Identical twins are formed with a single fertilized egg, and the embryo starts to split after the 12th day of conception. Because of the late split they conjoin at various parts of the body.

Usually with identical twins the egg will split between 3 and 8 days after conception. Sometimes this can happen earlier; in this case each twin would have their own placenta and sac. Mirror image twins are created when the embryo splits between 9 and 12 days.

Click here For More Facts on Twins who are Conjoined

Video of Abby and Brittany Hensel

Watch this amazing and inspiring video of Abby and Brittany.

The Hensel twins are famous throughout the world. The girls have two spines, two hearts, two stomachs and gall bladders, three kidneys and four lungs. But they share a body each controlling one side of the body. They have achieved many things like swimming, playing the piano even riding a bike. And now have a driving license at the age of 16. Amazing, Wonderful Girls!

Types of Conjoined (Siamese)Twins

Twins can be joined at different parts of the body; but they are always joined at the same location. To name a few:

  • Craniopagus is joined at the head which extremely rear at 2%.
  • Thoracopagus is the one of the most common connections about 40%, which is the upper section of the torso. They often share a heart making it extremely difficult to separate them.
  • Another common connection is called Omphalopagus which is joined from the breastbone to the waist

Separating joined twins really depends on how they are intertwined and what vital organs are shared. This is a very risky operation and the decision to separate is not one to be taken lightly.


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