Twin to twin transfusion syndrome or TTTS is a very serious condition that appears in identical twins and some high order multiples that share the placenta.
Usually, this condition arises due to the link in between the blood vessels of two babies in their shared placenta.
Due to TTTS, one baby receives too much blood and the other too little. Also, this syndrome is called as chronic inter-twin transfusion syndrome.
This condition occurs in 15% of the cases with identical twins. But, fraternal twins are not at the risk of this condition as they do not have shared placenta.
Twin to twin transfusion syndrome can not be avoided by doing or not doing a specific thing. This is neither a genetic condition nor a hereditary condition.
Diagnosing twin to twin transfusion syndrome:
There is a possibility of this condition if any of the below conditions can be observed in pregnancy ultrasound. They include:
- Significant difference in fetus sizes of the same sex
- The sizes of the 2 amniotic sacs will greatly differ.
- Significant variation in the umbilical cord sizes
- Single shared placenta
- Determining congestive heart malfunction in a recipient twin
- Oligohydraminos in the contributor twin
- Polyhydramnios in a recipient twin
Problems that you experience with twin to twin transfusion syndrome:
If you have multiple pregnancy and your identical twins have TTTS, then you may experience:
- Tightness, abdominal pain, or contractions
- Swelling in your legs and hands in your early pregnancy
- Feeling of rapid growth of your womb
- Uterus that is in larger size than it should be
- Rapid increase in your body weight
Problems that your baby experience due to twin to twin transfusion syndrome:
- Premature labor because of the rupturing of the membranes or induction
- Digestive, brain, heart, or respiratory imperfections in the recipient
- Development of anemia in donor twin
- Fetal demise or death
Treating twin to twin transfusion syndrome:
There are two new healing options available for treating TTTS.
One is amniocentesis test that helps to remove the excess fluid and to increase the blood flow to the placenta thus reducing the risk for preterm labor. This procedure is effective and can save 60% of the affected babies.
The other is laser surgery. This procedure is helpful to remove the link between the arteries and effective in saving 60% of the affected babies.
Also, your health care provider can suggest for delivery if your babies’ lungs are well developed.