in the News
Monday 05 August 2002 Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find
explanations of difficult words below.
Operation to separate twins
Summary: Surgeons at a Los Angeles hospital are set to perform a rare operation later today to separate twin girls who are joined at the top of their heads. The skulls of the one-year-old girls from Guatemala are joined with their faces in opposite directions. This report from David Willis:
The twins can't see each other, but they can hold hands. They came to Los Angeles with their twenty-two year old mother two months ago after a non-profit group made arrangements for their treatment here. They've already undergone surgery to stretch their skin. Doctors planted tiny expandable balloons under each baby's scalp so they'll have enough skin tissue to cover their heads one they're separated. The actual separations will take ten hours and involve more than fifty medical staff.
Although their brains function independently, some of the veins are joined. The doctors need to preserve and re-route those veins or both twins risk suffering a stroke. Doctors have been rehearsing the operation using life-size models, which not only replicate the babies blood vessels. But show their veins. Conjoined twins occur roughly once in every two hundred thousand live births. Many cannot be separated and often, when surgery is possible, one of the twins dies.