Conjoined Twins Who Were Separated Through Surgery Almost 18 Years Ago Are Living Life Like Normal Teenagers Today

Everyone wants to live a normal life. That’s what twins Isabelle and Abby Carlsen wanted. However, things weren’t always so typical for them since they were born as conjoined twins. At birth, the two girls were connected at the chest. Their parents made the decision to have them separated, a decision they say was incredibly difficult.

Separating conjoined twins is extremely complicated, especially in the case of Isabelle and Abby. While doctors can devise a plan to separate conjoined twins, every situation is unique. In typical surgeries, doctors replicate procedures they have performed and trained multiple times.

Surgically separating conjoined twins is drastically different as each case is unique. Since their organs were entwined, doctors had to strategize to separate them safely. This involved months of planning with hundreds of doctors.


According to CBS News, medical teams from The Mayo Clinic rehearsed multiple times. There was a team of doctors for each organ, along with a surgical team. Essentially, the surgery involved over a dozen specialist teams and lasted more than twelve hours. After months of rigorous planning, doctors performed the complex surgery that could potentially grant the girls their independence. Despite the worrying statistics at the time, expressed by Abby and Isabelle’s parents, the surgery turned out to be a complete success, with doctors successfully separating the two girls – giving them a lease for a new life!

In 2023, Isabelle and Abby are now heading towards legality as they approach their entrance to womanhood at 18 years old. Read on to learn more about what Isabelle and Abby are up to now.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video

On May 12, 2006, a team of approximately 17 surgeons collaborated to give Abby and Isabelle a chance to live independently. The operation to separate the conjoined twins took around 12 hours. At the time, the Star Tribune reported that 60 percent of conjoined twin operations resulted in fatalities, making the decision a huge leap of faith for the family.

In 2016, a decade after their successful separation, Abby and Isabelle were enjoying life together as grade school students.

Understandably, they say they have no recollection of being conjoined, as they were separated when they were just six months old.

Although they don’t have any memories of being connected at the chest, they exhibit behaviors that suggest some form of innate memory. Sometimes, they find themselves clasping their hands together in the same way they did when they were conjoined.

“Every night we look in the mirror in our room, and we’re like, how do people get us mixed up?” Abby said in an interview with CBS News Minnesota.

Tiffany Moos, their elementary school teacher, told the outlet at the time how unstoppable the twins were.

“I can’t imagine how healthy they are, nothing stops them. “They are academically at an advanced level, and socially they are friends with everyone.”

Based on the twins’ Instagram account, they appear to be thriving as high school students, enjoying their youth. Isabelle is fond of posting photos of herself, along with her twin Abby and their friends.

They’re both members of the gymnastics team, and they attend music festivals like any normal teenager out there. The Carlsen twins have grown into beautiful young women with no visible trace of their once physically conjoined lives.

What can you say about the Carlson Twins’ journey? Do you know other conjoined twins who also had a successful surgery? Let us know, and pass this on to your family, friends, and other loved ones to brighten up their day!

What can you say about the Carlson Twins’ journey? Do you know other conjoined twins who also had a successful surgery? Let us know, and pass this on to your family, friends, and other loved ones to brighten up their day!

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