Conjoined Twins Separated After Undergoing 21-Hour Operation

VALHALLA, N.Y. (AP) -
Marino Abel Camacho holds his conjoined daughters, Ballenie and Bellanie Camacho before surgery at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, N.Y. (Ben Cotten/WMCHealth via AP)

Twin 11-month-old girls who were formerly conjoined have been separated after undergoing a marathon surgery at a suburban New York City children’s hospital.

A team of more than 50 helped perform the delicate 21-hour operation to separate Ballenie and Bellanie Camacho at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla over two days beginning Jan. 17.

The twins had been connected by a bone at the base of the spine. The girls and their Dominican parents met the media on Tuesday.

Surgeon Dr. Samir Pandya calls it “a very long and complex surgery” that will give the twins “chances for better lives.”