SOURCE: OR-Live, Inc.

July 17, 2008 10:45 ET

ORLive Presents: Fetal Laser Surgery for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome

Live Webcast: From Tampa General Hospital: August 20, 2008 at 4 P.M. EDT

TAMPA, FL--(Marketwire - July 17, 2008) - Highlights of a fetal laser surgery for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) will be shown from Tampa General Hospital on the Internet on August 20, 2008 at 4 P.M. EDT.

TTTS affects 10 to 15 percent of identical-twin pregnancies and is the result of abnormal blood exchange between identical twins through a common placenta. The larger of the twins, or recipient, is surrounded by too much amniotic fluid and in danger of heart failure as its body tries to pump the overwhelming volume of blood intended for both. The smaller, or donor twin, is encased in a shrinking amniotic sac deprived of blood. Without treatment, both will likely die.

Rubén Quintero, M.D., Medical Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine/Fetal Surgery at Tampa General Hospital and Professor and Director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of South Florida College of Medicine, will narrate the procedure and answer e-mail questions live as taped highlights of the procedure are shown.

Ultrasound is used to diagnose TTTS by noting the presence of combined polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid) and oligohydramnios (decreased amniotic fluid) in a monochorionic-diamniotic (one placenta; two amniotic sacs) twin pregnancy. Polyhydramnios is defined as a maximum vertical pocket (MVP) of 8 cm or more, and oligohydramnios as an MVP of 2cm or less.

The surgical treatment of TTTS was revolutionized in 1998 when Quintero developed a selective endoscopic technique that pinpoints which placental blood vessels are malfunctioning and uses a laser to seal off those specific vessels. The goal of this approach is to eliminate all blood exchange between the fetuses. This one-time laser surgery procedure halts the disease process and allows each fetus to continue the pregnancy from its individually-perfused placenta. The procedure takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete. Before this procedure was available, amniocentesis was performed several times during the pregnancy to improve blood flow in the placenta by removing excess fluid.

The TGH Fetal Therapy/Surgery Program was established in 2006 and provides management of life-threatening fetal complications before birth utilizing the most advanced forms of prenatal diagnosis and in-utero treatment. Over 800 laser surgery procedures for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome have been performed with 75% survival for both and 90% survival for at least one fetus.

To view a program preview and learn more about this program visit OR-Live.


Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jean Mayer
    VP Strategic Services
    Tampa General

    Alex Fraser
    Director of Marketing
    OR-Live, Inc.
    860-953-2900 x 214
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