Selective laser photocoagulation of communicating vessels in severe twin-twin transfusion syndrome in women with an anterior placenta

Rubén A. Quintero, Patricia W. Bornick, Mary H. Allen, Patricia K. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

71 Scopus citations


Background: We describe two techniques for the laser treatment of twin-twin transfusion syndrome in women with anterior placentas. Technique: In the first technique, anastomoses were photocoagulated using a flexible endoscope through a single port. The second technique used a side-firing laser fiber with a rigid angled-view endoscope (two ports). Experience: Seventy-two women had surgery between July 1997 and December 1999, 35 (48.6%) of whom had anterior placentas. Survival was similar for fetuses with anterior (80%) and posterior (75.6%) placentas, but operating time was significantly longer for those with anterior placentas (81.1 compared with 64.4 minutes for the anterior and posterior placentas, respectively; P = .02, Student t test). At least one fetus survived in 76% (16 of 21) of women treated with flexible endoscopes and 86% (12 of 14) of those treated with the side-firing lasers. Six of 72 women (8.3%) had patent vascular anastomoses on placental examination, and five of them had anterior placentas (P = .08, Fisher exact test). Conclusion: Although anterior placentas are surgically more challenging than posterior placentas, both techniques allow an effective percutaneous approach to the laser treatment of twin-twin transfusion syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-481
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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