In January, the first separation of conjoined twins ever performed at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, was successfully completed. Believed to be the first time in medical history that some of the surgical work was performed using laparoscopic techniques, the rare surgical separation was the first of its kind in the Hudson Valley.
A team of more than 50 medical professionals separated 11-month-old twin girls Ballenie and Bellanie Camacho during a complex 21-hour procedure. Pediatric surgeon Samir Pandya, MD, who, with Whitney McBride, MD, led the surgical teams, says, “Their attachment presented us with many challenges, but after a successful separation, these twins now have a chance for better lives.”
The twins were born February 4, 2016 and live in Moca, Dominican Republic, with their parents and an older sister. The family arrived at the hospital last summer to begin evaluations and procedures that led up to the separation surgery.
“The separation of Ballenie and Bellanie was a significant undertaking, which was successful due to the skill, dedication and tireless preparation of our teams,” said Michael Gewitz, MD, William Russell McCurdy Physician-in-Chief at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. “The girls can now live independent lives, and we couldn’t be happier.”
Main Image: The pediatric operating room nurses with Ballenie and Bellanie after the separation surgery.