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PALO ALTO, Calif. – Formerly conjoined 2-year-old twin girls are recovering after doctors successfully separated them in a 17-hour surgery.

Erika and Eva Sandoval of Antelope, California were born conjoined at the chest. After months of preparation, doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital successfully separated the girls Wednesday.

Doctors began the surgery on December 6 and finished in the early hours of December 7, according to the hospital.

“They did very well,” said lead surgeon Gary Hartman. “I’m very pleased with the outcome.”

Hartman has successfully separated seven sets of twins in his career, so Erika and Eva were in very skilled hands.

The girls’ parents are still getting used to seeing them in separate beds.

“Seeing them now in the ICU, you look at them and think ‘You’re missing your other half’ but we know that this is the right path for them: to be independent, have the chance to succeed and explore on their own everything the world has to offer,” said mom Adia Sandoval.

The girls are expected to recover in the hospital for several weeks before finally going home.

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