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A Gift From the Heart

After a challenging fetal surgery, donors Paige and 

Paul Prechter are helping to ease the journey for 

other expectant parents at Ochsner

“Ochsner’s top-notch team knew 
to do ultrasounds every two weeks

to make sure that I didn’t develop 

twin-to-twin,” Paige says. However, in 

the second trimester, one ultrasound 

showed cause for concern. he twins 
were diagnosed with TTTS, Stage II. 

One twin, Savana (the donor), had no 

luid in her sac; she also had reduced 
aige and Paul Prechter, a young blood volume, which can inhibit lips to an 80 percent chance of sur- 

New Orleans couple with a toddler, growth and development and cause vival for both twins and a 90 percent 
Annika, were eagerly expecting identi-
anemia. he other, Juliana (the re- chance of survival for at least one. But 

cal twins. But amid the joyful plan- cipient), had too much blood volume, the Prechters needed to act quickly, 

ning, they had their antennae up. A putting her at risk for heart failure.
and the nearest center providing the 

sonogram at Ochsner revealed that the “he baby getting less blood has less surgery was in Houston.
twins were monochorionic-diamniotic, he couple swung into action. hey 
urine output, and as the urine output 
meaning that each had her own amni- drops, the amniotic luid volume tends hopped on a light to Houston, where 

otic sac but shared a single placenta.
to drop,” says Alfred G. Robichaux III, they consulted with specialists at the 

Sadly, approximately 15 percent of M.D., Chairman of Women’s Services Texas Fetal Center. As expected, Paige 

such twins develop a life-threatening at Ochsner Health System. “When it underwent fetal endoscopic surgery
condition called Twin-to-Twin Transfu- drops to a certain level, it’s time to con- to interrupt 22 vessels that connect- 

sion Syndrome (TTTS), in which blood sider interrupting that connection.”
ed Juliana and Savana. “You need to 

passes between the two fetuses. “One he best option was likely laser ind every one of those connections 

baby starts donating blood to the other, ablation surgery, in which a laser
and interrupt them, so you essentially 

and that’s bad for both,” says R. Clifton seals of the connecting blood vessels. create two separate circulations,” Dr. 
Moore, M.D., a maternal fetal medicine Without intervention, the chance of a Robichaux explains.

specialist at Ochsner. “If not caught early fetal death is about 100 percent for one Paige and Paul had to wait until 

and treated, one or both babies can die.”
or both babies. With laser surgery, that
the next morning for conirmation of

Alicia Hartfield

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