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It’s exciting to find out you’re pregnant – and it can be twice as exciting to learn you’re expecting twins. Most twins are born healthy with few complications, but in rare cases, a serious condition called twin-to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) may occur.
TTTS happens when identical twins share a placenta, which is the organ that develops in the uterus during pregnancy to provide oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus. Normally with identical twins, the placenta allows blood to flow evenly between the two developing babies.
In TTTS, however, the following occurs:
TTTS can develop at any point during pregnancy, and is usually first detected during prenatal ultrasound exams. The earlier in pregnancy it develops, the more serious it is.
It is understandably frightening to learn that your twins may have TTTS. The good news is, treatments are available to help your babies survive and thrive with minimal or no complications.
Mercy’s maternal fetal medicine specialists and neonatologists will develop a personalized treatment plan to keep your babies as healthy as possible and address any negative effects on their development. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition (how unequally the blood is shared between the twins) and how far along the pregnancy is. Generally, we begin treatment as soon as possible.
At Mercy, we know how stressful it can be to find out your babies may be at risk. We understand the pressure of having to make treatment decisions quickly, and we will do all we can to educate, support and guide you through this challenging time.