Fetal Surgery Saves Lives Of Unborn Babies With Twin-To-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)

Helping twins is double the joy.

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! Full Entry »

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Twins, Triplets And Quadruplets… Oh My!

Pregnant women carrying multiples are at higher risk and have different requirements when compared to those carrying a single fetus.

In November 2009, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) published new guidelines regarding weight gain during pregnancy and provisional guidelines for women carrying multiple fetuses. The guidelines do not address women carrying triplets or more, but the provisional guidelines for women carrying twins are based on body mass index (BMI) and are as follows:

  • Women with a normal BMI should gain between 37 – 54 pounds
  • Women with a BMI in the overweight category should gain between 31 – 50 pounds
  • Women with a BMI in the obese category should gain between 25 – 42 pounds Full Entry »
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Program For Multiples

I’ve been on a personal crusade to educate moms of multiples for a long time now, and to my true delight, Texas Children’s Hospital has come up with a resource that is like none other for this for this special group of moms-to-be.

Four years ago, we started our Fetal Intervention program at Texas Children’s. We were seeing many complicated twin pregnancies coming here for care and treatment, but many moms were being referred to us too late. It became apparent that we needed to increase awareness for proper evaluation, detection and treatment. Full Entry »

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