New Surgery Can Help With Twin To Twin Transfusion Syndrome

Laser Procedures Saves Twins With TTTS

Imagine find out your having identical twins, only to find out 17 weeks later, you might have to make the choice of choosing only one. 

That's what Shannon Gimbel and her husband were faced when they went in on a regular ultra sound check-up.

"My husband and I had dealt with quite a long bout of infertility.  I had to go through invitro and lost a set of twins previously," said Gimbel.

Gimbel's twins were diagnosed with Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, or TTTS.  It's a condition that occurs in identical twins sharing a single placenta.

"There can be an imbalance in the blood flow that one twin is getting too much blood and the other twin getting too little blood," said Dr. Kent Heyborne at Swedish Hospital.

Gimbel decided to take a chance and try a new surgery called the fetal laser surgery.  It's an intrauterine surgery that involves a small scope inside the womb.  The doctors use a laser to stop the transfusion of blood between the twins. 

Heyborne and other doctors from Utah performed the surgery at Swedish Hospital.  It's the first of this kind surgery in Colorado and it worked.

"We were told, here are your options.  You do nothing or we look at having to terminate one to save the other.  It's a decision nobody should have to make," said Gimbel.

The twins were born weighing a little more than two pounds each.  Gimbel said her daughters are doing good.

For more information on TTTS, just go to Swedish Hospital.