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Twin boys saved in womb after groundbreaking laser surgery

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 25th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

College lecturer Amanda Wroe was at first overjoyed at the news that she was pregnant with twin boys, after suffering a miscarriage. However, a scan revealed that her sons-to-be shared a placenta, which meant their chances of survival were next to nonexistent. However - groundbreaking laser surgery brought both boys to full term, and the family is doing quite well, thank you.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The 33-year-old Mrs. Wroe along with her 32-year-old husband Andrew learned 22 weeks into her pregnancy that they had a rare condition which could kill them within days.

As Oliver and Finley Wroe, as the boys were later named, were sharing the same placenta, the couple decided they had to go ahead with the surgery. Although the boys were born prematurely, Oliver and Finley were delivered safely by Caesarean section last month.
 
Wroe, of Crawford Village, near Ormskirk, West Lancashire, says that "When the doctor broke the news I burst into tears. We were told there was a 33 per cent chance of losing both twins, a 33 per cent chance we would lose one and a 33 per cent chance of saving both.

"After the treatment, the twins were carefully monitored and we all kept our fingers crossed. When they both arrived safely we were elated. Hearing them cry when they were born was wonderful."

The couple lost their first child when Mrs. Wroe suffered a miscarriage in May last year. She discovered she was pregnant again in March. A scan at nine weeks revealed twins, but it wasn't until a further ultrasound at 22 weeks that doctors realized there was a problem.

The babies were sharing blood vessels via a single placenta and had developed the potentially fatal condition twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

The couple was then referred to Leanne Bricker, a consultant in fetal medicine at Liverpool Women's Hospital, who is one of a handful of doctors in the U.K. qualified to carry out the complex laser ablation surgery.

During the operation last July, a camera and fiber optic laser was passed down a tiny endoscope into Wroe's womb.

The laser sealed off some of the shared blood vessels to ensure that each son received a more equal supply of blood. An amnio-reduction then removed excess amniotic fluid to give both babies an equal volume.

The twins were born eight weeks early at Liverpool Women's Hospital on September 9. Five days old, the boys were transferred to the neonatal unit at Ormskirk Hospital and were finally allowed home 12 days ago. "We just feel completely blessed that they both arrived safe and well," Wroe add.

The boy's father, an area manager for a compost company, praised both hospitals and added: "We particularly want to thank Leanne. Without her expertise, our boys would not be here."

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