Houston conjoined twins are closer to separation

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HOUSTON, Texas -- Knatalye Hope and Adeline Faith. conjoined twins born at Texas Children`s Hospital in April of last year, are just weeks away from being separated. For the family and team of doctors, it's a time filled with anxiety and anticipation.

"Holding them, and holding one individually, not trying to figure out how not to squish somebody," explained their proud mom, Elysse Mata.

Doctors are optimistic about the results, but aren't leaving anything to chance with months of planning and preparation.

"They`re connected by their chest, by their abdomen and their pelvis, so that number of body parts connected, and they`re sharing multiple organs as well. So that number of organs and that amount of surface area connected is a really big challenge," according to Dr. Ed Buchanan, a pediatric plastic surgeon with Texas Children's Hospital.

The process is already underway with a surgery to place custom tissue expanders in their chest and abdomen area.

"Essentially silicone balloons that we place underneath the skin in order to slowly inflate and grow more skin, so once we do the division, there`s enough skin to close everything up," added Dr. Buchanan.

Chief of plastic surgery at Texas Children's Hospital, Dr. Larry Hollier says it's more than just medicine, "Making sure we`re comfortable with the complex logistics of the separation surgery itself and staying positive for the family and the little girls themselves."

This surgery, more than others, carries risks, but physicians and family are confident of a good outcome.

"Everything is looking good that they`re on track for surgery next month sometime," said Mata.

Hope and Faith may soon lose their physical connection, but their special bond will surely strengthen with time.

With pride their mother says, "When they hold hands that`s their way of showing that they love each other."