PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- December is Twin-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) Awareness Month—an opportunity to focus attention on TTTS, a rare but life-threatening prenatal condition in which blood flows unequally between identical twins sharing a placenta.
The unequal blood flow results in one twin receiving too much blood and the other receiving too little. The imbalance jeopardizes both twins when left untreated. Management may include closely monitoring ultrasound examinations to check for signs of progression, removing excess amniotic fluid from the larger twin, or in some cases performing minimally invasive surgery.
Since 1995, the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment (CFDT) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has cared for more than 3,000 complicated multiple gestation pregnancies and performed over 500 fetoscopic procedures to treat TTTS. The Center team offers several treatment options, all performed before birth with the goal of intervening before TTTS advances too far.
One treatment option is fetoscopic selective laser ablation, in which fetal surgeons disconnect communicating blood vessels to stop the flow of blood between the twins. The CHOP team also has extensive experience in selective cord occlusion, a surgery that stops the blood flow to one twin in order to maximize the outcome for the other twin.
"In many cases, effective surgical interventions to treat TTTS have been instrumental in halting the disease before it advances too far," says Mark Johnson, MD, director of Obstetrical Services at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at CHOP. "While we still do not completely understand the exact complex mechanisms and how they work together to lead to TTTS, we do know that no two placentas are the same, and it's extremely important to follow these cases closely and be prepared for every possible outcome. Our team will continue to pursue research to create new solutions for these babies."
Meet some of our TTTS Patient
After Aiden and Dillon were prenatally diagnosed with twin-twin transfusion syndrome, their mom Rachel underwent a fetal surgery procedure to halt the progression of the condition. Read their story: www.chop.edu/stories/twin-twin-transfusion-syndrome-ttts-aiden-and-dillon
Olivia and Stella were diagnosed in utero with twin-twin transfusion syndrome, a life-threatening condition in which blood circulates unequally between the twins. Read their story: http://www.chop.edu/stories/twin-twin-transfusion-syndrome-olivia-and-stellas-story
Luke and Landon were diagnosed with twin-twin transfusion syndrome before birth. Things got more complicated when the family learned that Luke also had a heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot and a lung lesion. Read their story: www.chop.edu/stories/twin-twin-transfusion-syndrome-ttts-luke-and-landon-s-story
About Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals, and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit http://www.chop.edu
Media Contact: Ashley Moore
SOURCE Children's Hospital of Philadelphia