Doctors Establish Independent Blood Flow in Conjoined Twins

CLEVELAND (AP) - Doctors in Cleveland say they've taken a successful first step toward separating three-year-old conjoined twins.

They've been able to insert wire coils into the girls' veins to provide independent blood flow to their brains.

The leader of the team that will operate on Tatiana and Anastasia Dogaru says the doctors are enthusiastic and confident the procedure will work. The high-risk surgery is expected to take months.

The top of Tatiana's head is attached to the back of Anastasia's. Up to 50 doctors and nurses will work to separate the girls in four stages at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

The girls were born in Rome and arrived in Cleveland last month after two-and-a-half years in Dallas.