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.
About Texas Children’s Hospital Fetal Center
The Fetal Center at Texas Children’s Hospital is a national leader in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormalities in unborn and newborn infants. The physicians at Texas Children’s Fetal Center are recognized leaders in fetal medicine and fetal and neonatal surgery. As one of only four centers in the United States that provides the full spectrum of fetal therapies, including fetal intervention and fetal surgery, Texas Children’s Fetal Center is committed to providing accurate diagnosis and premier, complete treatment for pregnant women and their unborn children. For more information, visit www.fetal.texaschildrens.org.
About Texas Children’s Hospital
Texas Children’s Hospital is committed to a community of healthy children by providing the finest pediatric patient care, education and research. Renowned worldwide for its expertise and breakthrough developments in clinical care and research, Texas Children’s is ranked in the top ten best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Texas Children’s also operates the nation’s largest primary pediatric care network, with more than 40 offices throughout the greater Houston community. Texas Children’s has embarked on a $1.5 billion expansion, Vision 2010, which includes a comprehensive neurological research institute, the formation of a maternity center, and the development of the new West Campus, Texas Children’s first pediatric hospital in a suburban setting. For more information on Texas Children’s Hospital, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news from Texas Children’s Hospital by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.