Fetal Surgery Saves Lives Of Unborn Babies With Twin-To-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)
At the Fetal Center, we have been caring for patients diagnosed with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) since 2006. I have personally treated over 60 TTTS patients, including a mom this weekend who is expecting identical twin girls. The Martinez family came to us from Temple, TX, urgently referred to us by their maternal fetal medicine specialist. Madelyn, 25 weeks pregnant with Stage IV TTTS, came in on Friday and within 24 hours I was performing laser ablation to save her two little girls.
TTTS occurs in identical twins that share a placenta when an imbalance in the blood vessels causes one baby to receive too much nutrition while the other does not receive enough. Twenty years ago, the prognosis for babies suffering TTTS was grim. Thankfully, our ability to treat it has improved. In the past 10 years, a laser ablation procedure has proven very effective for stopping and reversing the effects TTTS has on unborn babies. With early detection and treatment, babies now have a 70-90% chance of survival. A huge achievement!
At Texas Children's Hospital, we care for kids of all ages, including those who have yet to take their first breath. At the Fetal Center, these tiniest of tikes are our top priority. While most pregnancies are healthy and uneventful, there is always a chance for risks and complications. But the good news is that the fetal care has evolved dramatically in the past 15 years and conditions and complications during pregnancy that previously were associated with a high mortality rate are now treatable with the right direction and care.
As a doctor, there is nothing more fulfilling than knowing you helped a family by caring for their children. Today, I'm especially happy knowing that thanks to our incredible fetal team and state-of-the-art technology, in a few months, two identical newborn sisters will be born and off to a healthy, happy start to life.
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 fetal.texaschildrens.org