Conjoined twins

Also known as: conjoined twinning

What are conjoined twins?

The rare situation where two identical twin fetuses are connected to one another by their skin and internal organs, is known as conjoined twins or conjoined twinning. This can lead to a number of complications that vary based on the nature and severity of how the twins are joined.

What causes conjoined twins?
It has been suggested that the origin of conjoined twins is that the mother’s fertilized egg only splits partially as it starts to grow.

What are the sign/ symptoms of conjoined twins?
Signs and symptoms vary widely depending on how much and where the twins are conjoined (many are stillborn and only about a third survive one day). For example, one of the most common types is where the two twins are connected together from the upper chest to the lower chest. These twins may share a heart and perhaps liver and part of the digestive system.

What are conjoined twins care options?
Where possible, twins are surgically separated. However, this is frequently a delicate, risky, difficult and life- threatening operation, and a good outcome is not guaranteed. If the surgery is successful, the twins typically require substantial rehabilitation afterward in order to live a healthy life.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 11:39:42 AM

From the Newsdesk

New anesthesia offering helps cardiac patients recover faster and with less pain
In this news story Dr. Kristine Guleserian, renowned heart surgeon, talk about Exparel. Exparel is a new anesthesia offering that helps cardiac patients recover faster and with less pain after heart surgery. 13 year-old Jessica Garcia, born with a congenital heart defect (VSD) was the first pediatric patient to use this treatment.
New anesthesia offering helps cardiac patients recover faster and with less pain
In this news story Dr. Kristine Guleserian, renowned heart surgeon, talk about Exparel. Exparel is a new anesthesia offering that helps cardiac patients recover faster and with less pain after heart surgery. 13 year-old Jessica Garcia, born with a congenital heart defect (VSD) was the first pediatric patient to use this treatment.

Video

video
Dr. Kristine Guleserian, congenital heart surgeon, with the Heart Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital discusses minimally invasive approaches to pediatric heart surgery.