Montefiore in the News
Formerly Conjoined Twins Attending School and Developing Well
NEW YORK CITY, NY (October 17, 2008) - Formerly conjoined Filipino twins Carl and Clarence Aguirre are doing well as six-and-a-half year olds, living with their mother Arlene in a house provided by a charitable organization in Scarsdale, NY, where they attend kindergarten.
"The boys are acting age appropriately," said David Staffenberg, MD, chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center and The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, where the boys underwent a series of surgeries in 2004 to successfully separate them. According to Dr. Staffenberg, one of the co-leaders of the boys' surgical team, although Carl has some lingering developmental issues, Carl and Clarence are talking and eating and playing and fighting and getting around very well on their own. "They're acting just like other little boys their age," Dr. Staffenberg said.
There are no immediate plans for any additional surgical procedures on the boys' skulls, which continue to "fill in" with natural bone growth at the points where they had been joined together.
"There is no health issue with leaving the bone in their skulls as it now is," Dr. Staffenberg said. "Reconstruction surgery is not necessary. Any additional elective procedures would be done over time, in stages. The boys would have to be taken out of school for long periods."
"Right now, my colleagues and I think their schooling and social interaction with other children is much more important to their overall development, health and happiness," said Dr. Staffenberg.