Siamese twins: how they went and possible risks

Siamese twins are identical twins who were born glued together in one or several regions of the body, such as hair, trunk or shoulders, for example, and may even share organs such as the heart, lungs, intestines and brain.

The birth of conjoined twins is rare, however, due to genetic factors, during the fertilization process, the embryo may not be separated in a timely manner, which leads to the birth of conjoined twins.

1. How are conjoined twins formed?

Siamese twins happen when one egg is fertilized twice, not separating properly into two. After fertilization, the egg is expected to separate in two up to a maximum of 12 days. However, due to genetic factors, the cell division process is compromised, with delayed division. The later the division takes place, the greater the chance that the twins will share organs and/or limbs.

In some cases, conjoined twins can be detected during pregnancy by performing routine ultrasounds.

2. What parts of the body can be joined together?

There are different parts of the body that can be shared by conjoined twins, which depend on the region where the twins are connected, such as:

  • Shoulder;
  • Head;
  • Waist, hip or pelvis;
  • Chest or belly;
  • Back or base of spine.

In addition, there are many cases where siblings share a single trunk and a single set of lower limbs, so there is a sharing of organs, such as the heart, brain, intestine and lung, depending on how the twins are connected to each other. .

3. Is it possible to separate conjoined twins?

By performing surgeries, it is possible to separate conjoined twins, and the complexity of the surgery depends on the extent of the shared body regions. See how the surgery is performed to separate conjoined twins.

It has already been possible to separate conjoined twins joined at the head, pelvis, base of the spine, chest, abdomen and pelvis, but these are surgeries that pose great risks for siblings, especially if they share organs with each other. If surgery is not possible or if the twins choose to remain together, they can live together for many years, living as normal a life as possible.

4. Is there any risk to one of the twins?

Depending on the organ that is shared, one of the twins can be harmed due to the greater use of the organ by the other. In order to prevent one of the twins from suffering consequences, surgery to separate the twins is recommended.

However, this is a delicate procedure and whose complexity varies according to the limb and the organ shared by the babies.

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