Conjoined twins separated after 27-hour surgery

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Separating brothers doesn't sound like a happy story. But for Anias and Jadon McDonald, it's the best news they could have hoped for.

A pair of conjoined twin boys have begun new, separate lives after 27 hours of surgery in the United States.

Nicole and Christian McDonald were faced with an agonising decision when twins Anias and Jadon were born 13 months ago joined at the head.

Trying to separate them carried the possibility of death or long-term brain damage. But studies also showed that 80 per cent of twins joined at the head die of medical complications if they're not separated within two years of birth.

The operation, led by Dr. James Goodrich at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, lasted 16 hours. More surgery was then required to rebuild the babies' skulls.

Mr and Mrs McDonald burst into tears upon seeing Jadon emerge first with his head wrapped in gauze. About five hours later, Anias was reunited with his family.

It's only the 59th craniopagus separation surgery to ever be performed since 1952.

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