Kendra Herrin has a partial bowel blockage, but physicians at Primary Children's Medical Center believe it may resolve itself without the need for surgery, a hospital spokeswoman said Saturday afternoon.
This is about the time physicians would expect to see scar tissue problems if there were going to be any resulting from the 26-hour surgery that separated Kendra from her twin, Maliyah, said spokeswoman Laura Winder. The girls, 4, were born joined mid-abdomen and were separated Aug. 7 and 8.
The surgeon who led the team that operated, Dr. Rebecka Meyers, told Winder that they plan to monitor the little girl very closely to see if the scars loosen up and the problem goes away without requiring a return trip to the operating room. Often, Winder said, surgery can be avoided.
"It's a bump in the road," said Winder, who added that ups and downs are an expected part of such a dramatic surgery. The girls shared organs that had to be divided, and each girl had control of one leg.
Since birth, Maliyah had accessed Kendra's kidney through the liver they shared. Since the surgery, she has been on dialysis awaiting a transplant in a few months. She's not showing any signs of scarring problems similar to Kendra's, Winder said.
The girls left the intensive care unit for regular hospital rooms last Monday evening. Since then, they've continued to heal and have even been playful much of the time.
In the early hours Friday, though, Kendra began showing signs of a bowel obstruction and was sick much of the night.
"She's not better right now, but she's not any worse, and doctors believe it may resolve," Winder said.
Scar tissue typically starts causing problems, if it's going to, after about three weeks, Winder said.
The girls are the daughters of Jake and Erin Herrin of North Salt Lake. On their Web page, Herrintwins.com, the Herrins are asking for prayers that the problem corrects itself.The twins will be featured Friday as part of a segment on conjoined twins on ABC's 20/20.