Surgery on baby successful, says team of surgeons

Saturday, February 7, 2004

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- A team of surgeons successfully removed the second head of a Dominican baby Friday in a complex operation that doctors believe to be the first of its kind.

The medical team led by a Los Angeles-based neurosurgeon completed the operation on 7-week-old Rebeca Martinez in nearly 11 hours.

"The girl is doing great. The surgery is over and her head has been closed," said Dr. Santiago Hazim, medical director of Santo Domingo's Center for Orthopedic Specialties.

The second head, a partially formed twin that doctors said threatened the girl's development, had its own partly developed brain, ears, eyes and lips.

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