Monday, May 9, 2011

Conjoined Twins -- With Two Heads, One Body -- Born in China

A Chinese woman gave given birth to a conjoined twins, who share a single body, two arms and two legs via Caesarean section last week.
The sisters are believed to suffer from a condition known as dicephalic parapagus - an extremely unusual form of twin conjoinment where only a single body develops. Because they share the same body, it is not possible to separate dicephalic parapagus conjoined twins. The birth of dicephalic parapagus conjoined twins - who develop after a fertilized egg cell fails to divide fully - is extremely rare, with most cases occurring in southwest Asia and Africa. However, there have been instances of dicephalic parapagus twins being born in the West. In July 2009, Lisa Chamberlain, from Portsmouth, gave birth to twins Joshua and Jayden, who shared the same single body. Joshua was stillborn while his brother lived for 32 minutes before dying in his mother's arms. And in the U.S. dicephalic parapagus twins Abigail and Brittany Hensel have become media celebrities, appearing on the Oprah Winfrey Show and featuring in television documentaries.
Abigail and Brittany, who are now 21, are the only known dicephalic twins. They live a normal life in Minnesota. Brittany is even engaged to be married.

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