pediatric

Formerly Conjoined Twins Make Medical History at NYP – Again!

by Columbia Surgery on January 10, 2014

Dr. Stylianos and the late Dr. Peter Altman with the newly separated twins in 1993.

Dr. Stylianos and the late Dr. Peter Altman with the newly separated twins in 1993.

Over 20 years ago, conjoined twins Carmen and Rosa Taveras were brought to Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital NewYork-Presbyterian to be separated in a groundbreaking surgery. The twins were separated by a team of 52 doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, technicians, and others in a 14-hour operation that involved rerouting and dividing the internal organs and reconstructing the girls’ severely malformed pelvis and hips.

Both Carmen and Rosa grew up to be healthy young adults, but because of the complexity of the separation procedure, it was uncertain if the pair would ever be able to have children of their own. In late November 2013, however, Rosa became only the fourth conjoined twin in history to give birth after separation. Elijah, Rosa’s baby, was delivered via cesarean section by Kirsten Cleary, MD, Director of Antepartum Service & Perinatal Network Hospitals, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

Making the moment even more special, Steven Stylianos, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, was one of the leading surgeons who oversaw Carmen and Rosa’s separation surgery in 1993, and was present for Elijah’s birth. Both Elijah and Rosa are healthy, and Rosa plans to go back to school to study criminal justice, while Carmen plans to study nursing.

This story was originally published in the January 2014 issue of NY Press.

Lillian Sjolund-English, RN; Cristian Acevedo, Elijah’s father; Dr. Kirsten Cleary, Ms. Tavares’ obstetrician; Rosa Taveras with her son, Elijah; Dr. Steven Stylianos, who separated the twins in 1993 and is now Surgeon-in-Chief of NYP/MSCH; Carmen Taveras; Dr. Amy Turitz; Lindsay Spring; Natahalie David; Heather Duignan, RN; and Dr. Jack Maidman, all from NYP/MSCH and Sloane Hospital for Women.

Lillian Sjolund-English, RN; Cristian Acevedo, Elijah’s father; Dr. Kirsten Cleary, Ms. Tavares’ obstetrician; Rosa Taveras with her son, Elijah; Dr. Steven Stylianos, who separated the twins in 1993 and is now Surgeon-in-Chief of NYP/MSCH; Carmen Taveras; Dr. Amy Turitz; Lindsay Spring; Natahalie David; Heather Duignan, RN; and Dr. Jack Maidman, all from NYP/MSCH and Sloane Hospital for Women.

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Steven Stylianos, MD

Steven Stylianos, MD

Please join us in welcoming Steven Stylianos, MD, Chief of Pediatric Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Surgeon-in-Chief at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian.

Dr. Stylianos most recently served as Chief of Surgery at Miami Children’s Hospital from 2005 to 2011 and at North Shore-LIJ from 2011 to 2013. His arrival at NewYork-Presbyterian this fall marks a return home to the institution where he completed his general surgical residency and served on the P&S faculty from 1992 -2005.

Dr. Stylianos is internationally known for his expertise in pediatric trauma care. He has served as the lead investigator in government-funded studies of children with abdominal injuries for the development of treatment protocols that are currently used throughout North America and beyond. Dr. Stylianos serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Pediatric Surgery Case Reports and is a site verification officer for the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.

In addition to maintaining a busy clinical practice, Dr. Stylianos will be responsible for administering and overseeing all facets of the Division of Pediatric Surgery.

Dr. Stylianos may be reached at 212.342.8586.

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