MORE than 100,000 watched online as surgeons carried out a five hour operation to separate conjoined twin girls. Orphaned sisters Ling Ling and Ling Mai - born sharing a liver, stomach and sternum - are now recovering after what medics in Shanghai, eastern China, say was a completely successful op. At one point so many people were watching the procedure online that it threatened to crash the entire internet network in the region. Ananova Lead surgeon Professor Xu Weiyu said: It was a lot more complicated than we expected. The slightest error could have caused a massive haemorrhage. Medics managed to separate the 11-month-old girls shared liver and untangle intestines that were separate, but wrapped around each other. The separated breast bone will be covered with skin grafts in a later op, said Professor Weiyu. They will be able to lead completely independent lives, he added. Ananova