Conjoined twins separation
In a marathon surgery on Oct. 24 and 25, 2020, surgeons at UC Davis Children’s Hospital successfully separated nine-month-old conjoined twins Abigail and Micaela Bachinskiy.
UC Davis Health is proud to share a six-part video series on the first-ever separation of conjoined twins at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.
Part 1: Rarer than One in a Million
Abigail and Micaela are born connected at the head, a rare condition called craniopagus twins. They are welcomed by the team from the UC Davis Fetal Care and Treatment Center that has tracked them since 11 weeks gestation. After several weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the twins go home with their eager yet nervous parents.
Part 2: A House Call for Abigail and Micaela
Surgeons visit the twins at home. The babies have surgery so they can grow the extra skin needed for the upcoming separation. A strong bond develops between the family and the medical team at UC Davis Children’s Hospital.
Part 3: Preparing for the Surgery of a Lifetime
With a surgery date scheduled, members of the medical team continue intense preparation for what will be – for most of them – the most complicated case of their careers. From goggles that map out the nerves and blood vessels, to 3-D models of the skulls and choreographed rehearsals in the surgical suite – the preparation is like a dance, with everyone having a clear role and even their own color-coded clothing. Soon, it is the night before the separation surgery.
Part 4: 24-Hour Separation Surgery
Surgery day is here. More than 30 team members crowd the operating room for the marathon procedure to separate Abigail and Micaela. The twins’ shared anatomy complicates the anesthesia. Surgeons make a surprise discovery and must make a tough call. The twins’ mother is joined by a supportive crowd as she waits outside the hospital, praying for good news.
Part 5: Finally Face-to-Face
The medical team reflects on the successful surgery to separate the twins. Finally able to face each other, Abigail and Micaela see each other for the first time.
Part 6: Turning One and Heading Home
Almost exactly one year since they were born at UC Davis Children's Hospital, Abigail and Micaela are finally ready to head home and begin living separate, independent lives with their family.