Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome

Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) is a condition that occurs in identical twins or triplets who share a single placenta where one baby donates its blood and nutrients to his/her sibling(s). This happens in approximately 10-15% of identical twins/triplets who share a placenta.

Essentially, the baby who is donating his/her blood is at risk of dehydration and anemia. The baby who is receiving the extra blood is at risk for volume overload which can lead to congestive heart failure in severe cases.

TTTS is usually diagnosed by ultrasound between 16 and 26 weeks of pregnancy by a high-risk OB center. 


What will happen without treatment?

If not treated, TTTS will continue to worsen and both babies will likely pass away (80-100% of the time).

Babies that survive a pregnancy with severe TTTS and no treatment have a 1 in 4 risk of brain injury due to lack of oxygen, blood and other nutrients. This pregnancy may also be jeopardized by the polyhydramnios (excessive fluid), which rapidly enlarges the uterus, potentially causing preterm labor and delivery.


What are the treatment options for TTTS?

With surgical intervention known as laser photocoagulation, 9 out of 10 (90%) of pregnancies affected by Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome pregnancies end with at least one surviving baby, while both babies survive nearly three-quarters (60-70%) of the time. Learn more about laser photocoagulation

Serial amnioreduction is a less invasive procedure often used for less severe cases of TTTS. Learn more about serial amnioreduction

EvergreenHealth is one of only a handful of centers in the United States currently able to provide both complete evaluation and diagnosis as well as a surgical and nonsurgical treatments for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. 


TTTS Treatment at EvergreenHealth

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Dr. Bettina Paek discusses the in-utero surgical treatment available for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.

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Twins travel from Arizona to meet Dr. Martin Walker, who saved their lives with in-utero surgery for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.


For Appointments or More Information

If you would like more detailed information, or are interested in a referral, you or your health care provider can contact our program coordinator:

Melissa Dorn, RN, MN
Fetal Therapy Coordinator 
425.899.3537
1.866.FETSURG (toll free)
MLDorn@evergreenhealth.com