Formerly conjoined twins returning to Richmond - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Formerly conjoined twins returning to Richmond

The Tapia twins in 2014, three years after their surgery (Source: World Pediatric Project) The Tapia twins in 2014, three years after their surgery (Source: World Pediatric Project)
The Tapia twins in 2012, a year after their surgery. (Source: NBC12) The Tapia twins in 2012, a year after their surgery. (Source: NBC12)
The Tapia twins as they were discharged from the hospital in 2011 (Source: NBC12) The Tapia twins as they were discharged from the hospital in 2011 (Source: NBC12)
Dr. David Lanning, who led the surgical team. (Source: VCU Medical Center) Dr. David Lanning, who led the surgical team. (Source: VCU Medical Center)
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Three years after conjoined twins were successfully separated at VCU Medical Center they are happy, healthy and returning to Richmond.

Maria and Teresa Tapia were two-years-old when a team of 45 doctors at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU performed a nearly day-long, first of its kind surgery to separate the pair, who were joined at the lower chest and abdomen.

The girls and their mother, Lisandra Sanatis, live in the Dominican Republic, but are returning to Richmond on Friday for an evaluation headed by Dr. David Lanning. Lanning was later honored in the twins' native country for his work separating them.

The family will also visit the opening of a VCU School of the Arts exhibition called The Tapia Twins: Bringing Together Art and Medicine. The exhibition opens September 5 and chronicles the twins' journey. Highlights include molds of the twins' bodies used for surgical practice before the procedure, the conjoined dresses made for the twins before separation and the modified car seat used to seat both twins before separation.

The girls are still in good health and very much emotionally attached.

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