Overview

Conjoined twins are two babies who are born physically connected to each other.

Conjoined twins develop when an early embryo only partially separates to form two individuals. Although two fetuses will develop from this embryo, they will remain physically connected — most often at the chest, abdomen or pelvis. Conjoined twins may also share one or more internal organs.

Many conjoined twins die in the womb (stillborn) or die shortly after birth. Some surviving conjoined twins can be surgically separated. The success of surgery depends on where the twins are joined and how many and which organs are shared, as well as the experience and skill of the surgical team.