Laser surgery saves twins' lives

Aug 25, 2006

A new laser surgery is being used to save the lives of identical twins suffering from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, or TTTS.

TTTS is a deadly condition that affects the fetuses of identical twins who share one placenta connecting them to their mother's blood supply. Each fetus fights the other to get enough blood to survive, ABC Primetime's "Medical Mysteries" said.

Dr. Anthony Johnson, a high-risk pregnancy specialist at the University of North Carolina Children's Hospital, said the only hope of saving both twins' lives is a new laser surgery to correct the blood flow between the twins. The laser is used to cauterize the blood vessels closed.

He told the TV program the surgery has to happen very early in the pregnancy, and it has to happen in the womb. One false blast of the laser could tear through the placenta and cause the babies to bleed to death.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers show value of tissue-engineering to repair major peripheral nerve injuries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle

Aug 26, 2014

Kit Lam and colleagues from UC Davis and other institutions have created dynamic nanoparticles (NPs) that could provide an arsenal of applications to diagnose and treat cancer. Built on an easy-to-make polymer, these particles ...

Recommended for you

Ebola: timeline of a ruthless killer

7 hours ago

Here are key dates in the current Ebola epidemic, the worst ever outbreak of the haemorrhagic fever which first surfaced in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Chile's Bachelet sends abortion bill to Congress

7 hours ago

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet on Saturday pressed ahead with plans to decriminalize abortion in certain cases, a decades-old taboo in one of Latin America's most socially conservative countries.

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

Jan 31, 2015

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.