RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Two little girls from the Dominican Republic who underwent 20 hours of surgery to separate them are celebrating one year since undergoing the procedure in Richmond.

Twins Maria and Teresa Tapia are due back Thursday at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU for a reception in their honor. The girls and their mother, Lisandra Sanatis, will be welcomed by the children’s care team and the surgeon-in-chief, Dr. David Lanning.

The girls were born joined at the lower chest and abdomen. Lanning and his team divided the twins’ liver, pancreas and other shared organ systems and reconstructed their abdominal walls.

Last week the 2½-year-old girls attended a Halloween party at the Henrico County headquarters of the World Pediatric Project, a nonprofit surgical-care provider for children in Central America and the Caribbean.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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