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Fetal Surgery Saved Lives Of My Unborn Twin Daughters With Twin-To-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)

My husband Chad and I had difficulties getting pregnant, so you can imagine our shock and surprise when our 9-week ultrasound revealed 2 tiny beating hearts. We were having TWINS! 18.5 weeks into my pregnancy, I went in for what I thought to be a routine 19-week ultrasound. Sensing something was terribly wrong, my OB/GYN immediately sent us to Houston and Texas Children’s Fetal Center from our home in nearby College Station. We were so overwhelmed and frightened by the unknown situation we were facing, but a calming hour-long phone call from a Texas Children’s nurse eased some of my anxiety and answered many of my questions before we even made the trip. The following day, the Fetal Center formally diagnosed my girls with stage III twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), a complication where there is unbalanced blood flow from one twin to the other. If left untreated, I would have certainly lost the babies. By 2:00 p.m., I was in surgery to correct this grave situation. I still remember the panic I felt signing those final forms, but knew I was being operated on by the best of the best. The doctors were able to surgically correct the imbalance in utero with a procedure uses a small camera to locate the abnormal blood vessel connections and treat the problem by sealing the abnormal connections with lasers. Twin to twin transfusion patients, Ellliott twinsNearly 3 months later — Annabelle and Andie were born healthy and strong at 32 weeks at Texas Children’s Hospital. Annabelle weighed 4 pounds, 2 ounces and Andie weighed 1 pound, 9 ounces. Although it seems like just yesterday they were born, the girls recently celebrated their 5th birthday! It is so exciting for them to see themselves in advertisements and on billboards. What an incredible opportunity for our family! We are so blessed and are grateful to Texas Children’s Fetal Center for saving both of their lives. Elliott twins with billboard

Shana Elliott, Mother of Patients