In a historic first for Austin, Dell Children’s Medical Center and UT Health Austin announced the successful twin to twin transfusion syndrome laser surgery at the Comprehensive Fetal Care Center (CFCC) on Dec 9th.
The condition puts a set of identical twins at risk, and involves unequal sharing of blood between the two. This complex procedure is performed in utero, and the surgical team was led by Dr. Michael Bebbington, co-director of the Comprehensive Fetal Care Center and Professor of Dell Med’s Department of Women’s Health. He was assisted by Dr. Kenneth Moise, the c0-director of the Comprehensive Fetal Care Center and Professor of Dell Med’s Department of Women’s Health.
26-year-old Jeanette from Cedar Park was referred to the CFCC after it was determined that one of her twins was not receiving enough blood. Jeannette was 22 weeks along in her pregnancy. “In order to give both babies the best chance at survival, Dr. Bebbington recommended the surgery, and I’m thankful for this amazing team at Dell Children’s,” said Jennette.
“This procedure is responsible for a survival rate of 85% for both twins,” said Dr. Bebbington. “Twin to twin transfusion syndrome is a rare disorder that affects identical twins that share a common placenta.”
In twin to twin transfusion syndrome, there is an unequal sharing of blood that passes between twins through blood vessel connections on the surface of the placenta. One twin (called the donor twin) pumps blood to the other twin (called the recipient). This causes the recipient twin to receive too much blood and the donor twin to receive too little.
he Comprehensive Fetal Care Center opened on May 3. The center is located in the Specialty Pavilion at Dell Children’s Medical Center and provides coordinated multispecialty care for families and babies identified prenatally with birth abnormalities. The center includes an 11-bed specialized labor and delivery unit at Dell Children’s.