Northside Hospital in Atlanta is developing and launching a new Fetal Therapy Program to treat some of Georgia’s sickest unborn babies.
Northside entered into an agreement this month with Texas Children’s Fetal Center, located within Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in Houston, to train Northside’s maternal-fetal medicine physicians on a procedure to treat twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). Affecting 10 to 15 percent of identical twin pregnancies with a shared placenta, TTTS is a serious complication that, if left untreated, can result in the death of one or both of the babies in more than 90 percent of these pregnancies.
Intrauterine selective fetoscopic laser photocoagulation, or SFLP, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses laser energy to stop the abnormal blood vessel connections that cause twins to share a blood supply, sometimes disproportionately, and often halts the progression of TTTS. Currently, Georgia mothers requiring SFLP are transferred out of state during pregnancy for treatment as no doctors or hospitals in Georgia offer the procedure.
“This new fetal therapy program is the next step in the evolution of our care at Northside and to enhancing the services we already provide to our mothers and babies,” said Dr. Kevin Gomez, Northside Hospital Center for Perinatal Medicine and Georgia Perinatal Consultants.
Northside Hospital’s Fetal Therapy Program will be offered within its Atlanta-campus Women’s Center. Northside hopes to have the program operational by late summer 2018.