Conjoined Filipino twins undergo first surgery at Montefiore Hospital

The 18-month-old twin boys from the Philippines who are joined at the top of their heads underwent their first surgery Monday at Montefiore Hospital. Since Carl and Clarence Aguirre arrived five weeks ago at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, doctors were able to help the twins gain the necessary weight and strength needed to begin the operation. So, at around 9: 20 a.m. a team of 10 doctors performed the first surgery of the separation process, which will be done in steps and could take several months. Monday's surgery involved implanting skin expanders so that the boys will have enough skin to cover each of their heads when they're eventually separated. Doctors say it is an extremely complex procedure that will be done in at least three stages.

After each procedure, the twins are expected to go back to Blythedale to recuperate.

The goal is for the boys "to live viable, independent lives," according to Doctor James Goodrich, director of pediatric neurosurgery at Montefiore. Aguirre Twins Updates

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