What are the treatment options for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome?
At the Colorado Fetal Care Center, our doctors are experts at identifying and treating twin-twin transfusion syndrome.
We understand that receiving a TTTS diagnosis during your pregnancy can feel life-changing, but you'll have an entire team taking care of you and your twins. Our state-of-the-art facilities, extensive experience treating this condition and innovative treatment options can help your children thrive, both during pregnancy and after birth.
Time is critical when it comes to treating TTTS. The earlier we diagnose the condition, the better we can treat it. Many treatment options can start within hours or days of diagnosis.
Twin-twin transfusion syndrome treatment options
Observation and monitoring
Sometimes we recommend to closely monitor the condition because it is not severe enough for treatment. Your physician can usually perform the necessary monitoring but on occasion, it is done at the fetal care center. We usually take this approach in the early stages of TTTS or in cases where surgical treatment is not possible.
An amnioreduction is a procedure where a doctor removes extra amniotic fluid from the amniotic sac using a small needle with ultrasound guidance. The doctor removes just enough fluid to return it to a healthy level.
Performing an amnioreduction helps prevent preterm delivery and other complications related to polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid). The potential benefits of this TTTS treatment option include:
- Decreasing abdominal pressure
- Slowing the progression of the disease
- Improving blood flow between the babies
- Halting or even reversing the TTTS in rare cases
Laser TTTS surgery
In severe cases of TTTS, our fetal surgeons will recommend laser surgery. When this is the best treatment option, we usually perform this minimally invasive fetal intervention within 24 to 72 hours of your evaluation.
The laser TTTS surgery, called selective fetoscopic laser photocoagulation (SFLP), takes place in a dedicated operating room within the Colorado Fetal Care Center, so all your surgical care takes place in one location. Most of our mothers have an epidural before the surgery starts to ensure a painless procedure. We have a dedicated fetal anesthesiologist who is by your side every step of the way.
To perform the laser procedure, we insert a small camera into your uterus under ultrasound guidance. We use this camera to identify the abnormal blood vessel connections between the babies. Then, we use a small laser to block the abnormal vessel connections and definitively stop the harmful blood flow between the babies.
We usually also perform an amnioreduction after the TTTS surgery to remove any excess amniotic fluid.
Why choose our Colorado Fetal Care Center for TTTS diagnosis and treatment?
When coming to our Colorado Fetal Care Center for TTTS treatment, parents can expect an unparalleled level of expert, coordinated care. In fact, we are one of the nation's top care centers for treating TTTS.
Survival rate of one or both twins
Our 24/7 care model means that we’re here to provide thoughtful answers and handle whatever need you or your babies may have, no matter the time. Our center is always staffed with the pediatric, neonatal and maternal fetal experts you need to handle high-risk pregnancy and TTTS complications.
Not only do we offer some of the most advanced fetal therapies, but we're constantly advancing the field through innovative research. Because TTTS is a complicated disease and its causes are not yet understood, we collect detailed information on every TTTS pregnancy and investigate the underlying causes. This helps improve the outcomes for our patients and get a better understanding on how to offer the best treatment.
A continuum of care: comprehensive TTTS treatment
We understand the stress and fear that can go along with a TTTS diagnosis. This is why we have specialized maternal and fetal medicine experts for every aspect of you and your babies’ care.
Additionally, we're one of the few centers that brings together the full multidisciplinary care team from the very beginning, ensuring the most responsive and comprehensive care plan for before and after birth.
Twin-twin transfusion treatment after birth
With a Level IV (four) NICU and world-class pediatric experts right here on the Anschutz Medical Campus, we're able to ensure a smooth transition between the various providers involved in your care and any specialists your babies may need.
A multidisciplinary team of TTTS experts dedicated to you and your babies
At the Colorado Fetal Care Center, you will meet the various team members who are all dedicated to you and your babies. Each person plays a unique role in coordinating your care, evaluating your pregnancy, diagnosing your babies' condition, counseling about treatment options and treating your family. We also help you feel like you're part of the care team by listening to your concerns, answering your questions and keeping you informed every step of the way.
During your appointment, you will meet nurse coordinators, medical assistants, fetal sonographers, fetal ultrasound specialists, anesthesiologists, fetal cardiologists and fetal surgeons, including pediatric surgeons and maternal fetal medicine specialists. Learn about your visit to our Center.
And when it comes to treatment and procedures, you will be treated by dedicated TTTS specialists, including fellowship-trained fetal surgeons who have trained specifically and extensively for these procedures. Our expertise in treating TTTS means the best chance at a positive outcome for you and your babies. Take a look at our most recent fetal surgery and TTTS outcomes.
But experience at the Colorado Fetal Care Center goes beyond the medicine – we have care coordinators, social workers and staff to ease the stress of a TTTS diagnosis.
We attend to you and your family's needs, emotional or otherwise, and provide a personalized approach to navigating the entire process, including scheduling. In addition, we can help coordinate the travel and stay for each patient while they’re here.