Real Medicine

Conjoined Twins: When Surgery Inspires

After not watching series all year, I picked up on Grey’s Anatomy again. Yes, I watch Grey’s. In fact, I enjoy it. So sue me.

ANYWAY, season 8 episode 11, “This Magic Moment” was about a once-in-a-lifetime surgery performed to separate conjoined twins (Andy and Brandy).

It reminded me of a time when I had just started reading (I was about five or six) and I read an article about conjoined twins in one of our local magazines. These girls were not in the position to be separated, as they shared a body and some organs. As a little girl, I was a little horrified. Their story also inspired me. Their attitude was remarkable. It is a pity I cannot remember who these twins were.

They were a lot like Abby and Brittany in this video:

A lot can be done for conjoined twins these days. I would guess that some of them are also aborted. Conjoined twins separated in Madagascar passed away about a week ago. Madagascar hospitals do not quite have the resources of more advanced countries. And anything can go wrong.

I saw this video of the Garrison twins who were successfully separated (DiscoveryTV wouldn’t let me embed it, boo). They were¬†intriguing also because they have one healthy triplet. They were not as lucky as the twins in Grey’s, as they each ended up with only one leg. But they are flourishing today, as you will see if you Google them.

One can wonder what they would have chosen had they grown up conjoined. Perhaps they would not want their lives any different, perhaps they would. I am not in the position to guess.

But I was reminded why surgery can inspire me. I may hate cutting open an abdomen and poking around in guts, but this – this is life-changing, wonderful work.

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1 thought on “Conjoined Twins: When Surgery Inspires”

  1. Abby & Brittany were in a magazine when I was in the fourth grade… They were a few years younger. I actually brought the magazine to school for show and tell because I thought it was that cool.
    This is an area where I think surgery is fascinating. I still dislike surgery, but I think it is amazing.
    Also, I too love Grey’s… Even though they make a million technical errors in every episode.

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