Local November 19, 2011 | 1:52 am

Doctors say separated twins doing ‘very well’

Richmonf, Virginia.– Ten days after the complex surgery to separate the 19-month-old Dominican toddlers at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, doctors said they are doing "very well" and reaching medical targets.

According to Dr. David A. Lanning, chief surgeon for the Nov. 7-8 operation, Teresa Maria and Maria Teresa Tapia are starting to show signs of their intestines working. "They’re actually having bowel movements," he said.

The girls shared a liver and a duodenum, the top part of the small intestine. Their biliary systems and pancreas glands were also conjoined. They were brought to the United States in late August by World Pediatric Project, a Richmond-based medical philanthropy, for the operation.

Since the surgery the twins have been in different hospital rooms. They have had trouble sleeping the past couple of nights, and health care workers were considering giving them weighted pillows and each other’s blankets to ease the separation.

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