San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Formerly Conjoined Twin Undergoes Heart Surgery

One of the first Costa Rican conjoined twins to be successfully separated underwent heart surgery in the U.S. state of California last week to correct a debilitating condition, according to a press release from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, where the procedure took place.

Meanwhile, the other twin is now breathing on her own. The twins, Yurelia and Fiorella Rocha Arias, were joined at the abdomen and chest and were separated Nov. 12 by a team of surgeons at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford (TT, Nov. 16).

However, Yurelia’s heart suffered from a condition where the pulmonary artery and the aorta are connected to the right ventricle.

In a normal heart, the aorta is connected to the left ventricle.

Doctors successfully operated during a six-hour procedure on Yuerlia Nov. 14, according to the hospital.

“Yurelia’s heart condition should now be completely fixed,” said Frank Hanley, a doctor who specializes in pediatric heart defects, in a statement.


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