Doctors at Corniche Hospital, part of Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) - the UAE's largest healthcare network - have performed advanced laser procedures to save the lives of unborn identical twins suffering from a rare but potentially fatal condition.

As part of Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) Awareness Day on 7th December, SEHA has shared the story of two women pregnant with monochorionic twins (or identical twins who shared placenta), suffering from TTTS. A rare but dangerous condition, it occurs in about 15 percent of monochorionic twins as the shared placenta can cause complications due to unbalanced blood supply to each fetus.

Doctors at Corniche Hospital successfully performed novel fetoscopic laser procedures to save both sets of unborn twins, a highly complex operation that involves entering the womb through the mother's belly. The novel fetoscopic laser procedure is only carried out at very few specialised hospitals globally and requires a high level of expertise.

Where severe TTTS is diagnosed, there is an almost 100 percent chance of losing the pregnancy if treatment is not provided. However, with laser therapy, in up to 70 percent of cases, both twins can make it through pregnancy; in up to 90 percent of cases, at least one baby can be saved.

Noor Alsamrai, gave birth to twins Ibrahim and Abdallah Yousef Ali Albairaq on 16th March. She was referred to the Advanced Fetal Medicine Unit at Corniche Hospital for the laser procedure after TTTS was diagnosed at week 15 of her pregnancy.

The 32-year-old said, "I was so scared and uncertain about the outcome, but meeting with Dr. Leanne Bricker and the team provided me with the much-needed assurance given their level of expertise and knowledge. The team was in control throughout the procedure, and I am grateful for my outstanding care. It's been a year since I had the procedure at 18 weeks of pregnancy." Dr. Leanne Bricker, Chair of the Fetal Medicine and Imaging Department and Consultant in Fetal and Maternal Medicine at Corniche Hospital, said, "We strongly advise women pregnant with monochorionic twins to have their ultrasound examinations and follow-up undertaken by a fetal medicine specialist who has the expertise and knowledge to identify potential problems on an ultrasound scan early in the pregnancy." Corniche Hospital's Advanced Fetal Medicine Unit is one of the few facilities in the region offering advanced diagnostic services for unborn children and complex fetal therapy to treat fetal abnormalities or diseases while the baby is still in the mother's uterus.

Dr. Werner Diehl, Division, Chief of Fetal Medicine Centre and Consultant in Fetal and Maternal Medicine, Corniche Hospital, said, "The experts at Corniche Hospital's Advanced Fetal Medicine Unit have trained and practiced in the UK and Germany. They have performed around 122 novel fetoscopic laser procedures, achieving outcomes comparable to major Fetal Medicine Units worldwide and marking a legacy of proficiency and expertise in fetal therapy in Abu Dhabi."

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