The Rotunda Hospital is the national leader for the performance of surgery in the womb to treat complications of twin pregnancy. In about 20% of identical twin pregnancies, both babies share a single placenta unequally.
This results in a life-threatening complication known as twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, in which one baby gets too much blood flow, and goes into heart failure from being overloaded with blood, while the second twin gets too little blood low and gets very sick from under-perfusion of blood. If not treated, this can result in death of both babies in 90% to 100% of cases.
The only realistic treatment for this is fetoscopic laser surgery on the placenta. This involves placing a camera into the pregnant mothers abdomen and using a laser surgical instrument to find the abnormal blood vessels connecting both babies, and sealing those off. In 75% of cases this is successful and results in at least one surviving baby.
At the end of 2017 the Master of The Rotunda Hospital, Prof. Fergal Malone advised the foundation the fetoscopic laser machine used to preform surgery in the womb to treat complications of twin pregnancy was old unreliable and needed to be replaced.
With no State funding available, the Foundation funded the purchase of this life-saving equipment with the support of a Corporate Benefactor’s generous donation of over €50,000.
To date, the national laser surgery programme at the Rotunda has successfully treated over 100 twin pregnancies, with over 150 surviving babies. This would not have been possible without the skill of Rotunda staff and the availability of this high-tech equipment