Surgeons successfully separated conjoined twins in less than half an hour after discovering the operation was far simpler than they had anticipated.
Scans taken when the twin girls were still inside their mother’s womb led doctors in Moscow, Russian, to believe their skulls were conjoined.
They prepared for complicated surgery – but were pleasantly surprised to find the babies were joined only by their skin.
Their bone structures were completely independent and both are expected to make a good recovery.
Professor Andrey Prytyko, who led the operation, said he had been expecting to have to carry out a much more complex operation lasting hours.
He said: ‘The girls grew together only with their skin. We thought they did it with the bones, this is why we prepared for a major operation.’