MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: Why are twins that are physically attached called Siamese twins?

Area: Medicine
Posted By: Mark Madachik, PD, Heartland Farm/Nursery
Date: Fri Apr 11 06:56:03 1997
Hello melissa.   Siamese Twins is a name generally used to describe twins that
are congenitally united or physically joined in some way not compatible with life
or activity.  The name is derived from the famous (at that time) twins Eng and
Chang whose Chinese parents lived in Siam (which is now Thailand)  thus the term
Siamese.  Eng and Chang joined together at the sternum by a thick muscular
ligament and remained so thoughout life.  Joined twins are always identical.
Separation by surgery is often possible.

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