Sunday, January 29, 2012

TTTS Laser Ablation Surgery


The reason I am doing this post is because when I was diagnosed I was desperate to find a TTTS blog that shared what the LAS was like from a person who experienced it and could not find anything. Here was my experience of it:

There are only 4 or 5 centers in the country that perform this cutting edge surgery. We were so thankful to be within driving distance of Texas Fetal Center in Houston. Co-Surgeons Moise and Johnson are internationally recognized and pioneers in the field, and I knew I would be in good hands. I believe I was their 353rd LAS.

The first day was evaluations and consultations. There was about a 11/2 hour ultrasound to determine whether or not we could be candidates for the surgery. Then we spent about an hour discussing my case and the risks involved to mother and babies. After answering millions of questions from us, we mutually decided that LAS was a fit for us.



 After being admitted to the hospital, I was prepped for surgery. They did a quick ultrasound to confirm the positions of the babies and their heart beats. At this point, I believe we were in stage 3 (out of 5) of TTTS.


 After taking a disgusting shot of some medication that tasted like gasoline and is supposed to help with stomach acid, they hooked me up to the IV, which was one of the most painful parts. The anesthesiologist came in and rather quickly gave me my "martini" via IV. This did not put me totally under, but put me into a twilight sleep. This for me was the scariest part because I felt so out of control and unable to communicate- I hated the feeling! Then they rolled me into the OR. I remember most things I think. I remember lots of people fussing with me and talking to me- hooking me up to machines, putting different monitors on me, trying to adjust my body on the table because I had to be sideways at just the right angle. I remember the room being super scary with lots of big machines and lots of people. I remember it was freezing. I was SO afraid. I tried my hardest to keep my little eyes open to stay aware. I was able to open them whenever I wanted. The best part of the surgery was the nurses. They were so wonderful and held my hand the whole time. They also talked to me the whole time and told me I was doing well and so were the girls. I am so thankful for them! The surgeon made one incision about the size of a drinking straw on my side. I did not feel any pain as the fetoscope went in, and mid way through I was no longer afraid at all. After about 45 minutes, the surgery was over. They put a stitch or 2 in my side and a heart shaped bandage over it. They let me know that they sealed 9 arteries total, 5 big ones. The anesthesia wore off quickly and I was moved to the recovery room. I was starving because I hadn't eaten in about 16 hours, and so I vomited. They monitored me for contractions and took my vitals often and after about 2 hours took me to my overnight room.





 After arriving to my overnight room they finally allowed me to eat. That was the best graham crackers, OJ, fruit, yogurt, and muffin ever! I felt so nourished after that. They gave me a few bags of antibiotics through the IV, and I also took some medication for contractions. I felt so tired and of course so very happy and was not really able to take a nap. I watched a little Ellen, read some FB comments & texts and enjoyed some treats from gift baskets, the beauty of my bouquets. I did have some pain/soreness around my incision site and found it difficult to get up or move positions. I slept a few hours through the night and before I knew it, it was morning!


Around 8am the ultrasound tech came in to do my morning ultrasound and see how the girls were doing. They looked good and so did I, and so they released me from the hospital to their office for a more extensive and final ultrasound. The prognosis is good they said and sent us on our merry way hoping to never see us there again. We gave our treatment team big genuine hugs and thank yous and told them we would be in touch (as we are part of several research studies with them). I will always remember these faces! So thankful to this team, so much love to them!



21 comments:

  1. So thankful that God sent you servants who cared for and about you. Blessing for sure. Wow, you guys sure went through quite a bit in a short time. I will continue to pray for healing for all and growth and health for the girlies. God is so Good!

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  2. Every time I read your posts I cry but in a good way. So thankful the surgery went well and not a day goes by that I don't lift up prayers for you and Ryan and the girls!

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  3. Thomas and I have been praying for all four of you this past week. What amazing technology and what a sweet God to walk through these tough times with you. Thanks for sharing the story and we'll be excited to keep up with how things go from here!

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  4. Laura, I had no idea this was all happening until I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago. Please know I am thinking of you and praying for you all. I will continue to follow your blog...take care!

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  5. What an amazing story, Laura. One you can tell your girls about for years! I'm so glad you had such a loving team taking care of you. We are praying for y'all!

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  6. Laura, Sid and I out here in NM are rejoicing that you are home, and the those babies are "partying" in your belly. We continue to pray for recovery and continued health of your two girls. I would certainly love to talk to you or email with you as time draws closer for their arrival. My twins are 17 months now, but I do remember the crazy but wonderful few months after they were born. Your situation will be unique since they will be in the NICU, but I can at least give you thoughts on what it's like when they come home. I'll find you on facebook! Lots of prayers and hugs, Tere and Sid Druen (RUF @ NMSU)

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  7. Laura and Ryan- The prayers continue here at our house. Thinking of you all the time. So thankful for a successful surgery.
    Em

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  8. Thank you for sharing. We are so thankful that you and the baby girls are doing well. You are always in our prayers. We love you so much. Give Ryan a hug for us!

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  9. It is a pleasure to read about His faithfulness in all things. Thanks so much for sharing and prayers will continue.

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  10. Thank you for sharing. We went through LAS too with our girls who are 4 months old. Not a day goes by that I don't think of Karen, Dr. Moise, and Dr. Johnson.
    -Twinserely,
    Carrie Kylitis
    Mom to Lena and Loukia 9-30-11

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  11. thank you for this. I am flying to toronto for the laser surgery tomorrow for my little boys.

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  12. I so wish I fully understood the process of the laser when it was explained to me with San Francisco specialists, they told me in my case I would be terminating twinB, basically they said they could only save one of my sons,, I couldn't be responsible for that so I backed out and left it up my faith in God,,, Both my beautiful sons revived their wings April 8th 2006.....I would've done it different, I would do anything to save them,, ill forever have this guilt...thankful for the 32 weeks I had with them<3 Bless you for sharing your story, wishing you and your family all the best.

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    1. I am so sorry. that is so very terrible and infuriating. i will do my best to spread awareness so that never happens again. best wishes to you...

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  13. Thank you so much for sharing your journey, we just learned we will need this procedure for our girls, you give us so much hope!!!!

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  14. Ditto with what MrsM said! We are headed to Houston for evaluation on Monday 04/08/2013

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing your journey! We just had the laser ablation treatment last week and are so worried for our girls. Thank you for sharing your faith and for being so raw in expressing the reality of the pain of this journey. I hear myself in so much of what you have written. I am so glad your family has had such a happy outcome. May the Lord continue to bless you!

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  16. I just had laser surgery on July 15th in Houston with Dr. Moise and Dr. Johnson as well. I was 20.5 weeks and was at a stage 3. The surgery went amazing, and there is no better feeling then hearing both heart beats the following morning! I am so thankful to them, words can not express it. Thank you for sharing your story, it is comforting to read a success story from the same hospital.

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  17. All the above experiences of laser surgeries are very movable, expecting that by god's grace all of you will surely get well soon.

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  18. Thank you for taking the time to chronicle your prenancy wih TTTS, we have twin girls on the way - 18 weeks, OB painted a fairly grim picture regarding suspected TTTS on Monday and we are going to see high risk OB tomorrow morning, this has been the longest 3 days of my life. Could you pray for us as you know what we are going through. Dan, Jen, Bella, Felicity + Baby A+B

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