As one of the leading medical centers in the U.S. diagnosing and treating twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), Texas Children's Fetal Center is proud to announce the successful completion of its 200th TTTS laser ablation surgery. To view a video about TTTS and learn about the important questions parents should ask their doctor, see: http://bit.ly/cgmn3W.
There have been various treatment options used in an attempt to correct the effects of TTTS, including amnioreduction, microseptostomy, selective reduction and laser ablation. Thanks to outstanding research and innovative technology, the use of laser ablation has been shown to provide the best hope for improving the outcome in these complicated twin pregnancies. When diagnosed early in the pregnancy and treated promptly, laser ablation will result in the survival of one or both of the babies in over 80% of affected pregnancies. The breakthrough technology and surgery involves one small incision and an operating time of less than two hours.
"Performing the 200th laser surgery is a huge milestone for us," said Dr Anthony Johnson of the Fetal Center. "Patient outcome in rare disorders is directly related to volume, and we are proud to be one of the primary referral centers for TTTS in the country. To accomplish this in less than four years speaks to the commitment of our team -- not just those on the front line, but everyone throughout the institution."
The critical component to a happy and healthy outcome is to diagnose and treat the condition at an experienced center as soon as it is suspected. Mothers who find out they are having twins should consult their doctor right away and ask them to do an ultrasound to determine if they have one or two placentas.
Twin pregnancies with one placenta are identical and at risk of developing TTTS. These pregnancies should have ultrasounds at least every two weeks starting at around 4 months of pregnancy and continuing until delivery to check for early signs of a difference in fluid levels in their babies' sacs. If TTTS, or other complications that are unique to identical twins, is suspected, the patient should book an appointment with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist within the week.
"The laser surgery was a miracle for us," said Michelle, the mother of the 200th TTTS case at the Fetal Center. "We're lucky to have been blessed with doctors who have experience dealing with TTTS and were able to save our babies."
The TTTS program at Texas Children's Fetal Center is led by Drs. Ken Moise and Anthony Johnson, both nationally recognized leaders in the field. Drs. Moise and Johnson, along with the entire Fetal Center staff, are passionate about providing world-class, compassionate care, honest advice, and clear communication to every family they meet. Fetal Center RN Karen Moise also specializes in TTTS and other high-risk pregnancies, providing information to families through her blog, www.miraclesofmultiples.blogspot.com.
With state-of-the-art facilities and medical sub-specialists who are recognized leaders in the field of fetal intervention and surgery, the Fetal Center provides the ultimate care for parents and unborn children facing TTTS. Patients at Texas Children's are provided with care from physicians who are leaders in their field and highly experienced with laser ablation, as demonstrated by the completion of the 200th case this month.
Texas Children's Hospital