Conjoined Twins

Below you will find more information about Conjoined Twins from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Conjoined Twins it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Conjoined Twins and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Conjoined Twins comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Conjoined twins are identical twins that have failed to completely separate into two individuals usually joined at the chest, head, or pelvis. Some may even share one or more internal organs.

Diagnosis

An ultrasound reveals a single placenta and umbilical cord showing the signs of conjoined twins. It may also reveal a placenta without separating membranes.

Treatment

Many parents choose to end the pregnancy due to quality of life issues and the possibility of successful separation. Continued pregnancy is closely monitored and a surgical delivery is performed. The twins may be surgically separated especially if one or the other has survival issues or affects the other twin's survival.

Symptoms and Signs

Conjoined twins are classified by the way their bodies are joined. They may be thoracopagus twins who are joined at the chest; omphalopagus twins who are joined near the bellybutton; pygopagus twins who are joined at the base of the spine; ischiopagus twins who are joined at the pelvis; craniopagus twins who are joined at the head; craniopagus twins who share the same skull; parapagus twins who are joined extensively at their sides. Although most conjoined twins have separate arms and legs, some share them as well.

Causes

Conjoined twins result when a single fertilized egg fails to split during the first two weeks after conception. The fertilized egg's degree and time of splitting determines the type of the conjoined twins. The cause of the delayed splitting is unknown.

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