Laser technique ‘cuts risk to twins’

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A new technique that cuts the risk of twins suffering disability from a deadly syndrome is being recommended across the NHS.

The laser procedure reduces problems caused by twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), a condition that affects identical twins who share a placenta.

The condition means one twin gets too little blood and is at risk of anaemia, while the other twin gets too much blood, which can strain the heart and cause heart failure. Up to 80 per cent of babies die if TTTS is not treated.

Those who live can have heart or kidney problems, and about 15 per cent have serious neurological problems, such as cerebral palsy.

The new technique, detailed in The Lancet, significantly reduces the risk of complications by lasering minuscule blood vessels across the placenta that cannot be seen with the naked eye.