Balancing Patient Access to Fetoscopic Laser Photocoagulation for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome with Maintaining Procedural Competence: Are Collaborative Services Part of the Solution?

Andrew G. Edwards, Mark Teoh, Ryan J. Hodges, Ricardo Palma-Dias, Stephen A. Cole, Alison M. Fung, Susan P. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The benefits of fetoscopic laser photocoagulation (FLP) for treatment of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) have been recognized for over a decade, yet access to FLP remains limited in many settings. This means at a population level, the potential benefits of FLP for TTTS are far from being fully realized. In part, this is because there are many centers where the case volume is relatively low. This creates an inevitable tension; on one hand, wanting FLP to be readily accessible to all women who may need it, yet on the other, needing to ensure that a high degree of procedural competence is maintained. Some of the solutions to these apparently competing priorities may be found in novel training solutions to achieve, and maintain, procedural proficiency, and with the increased utilization of 'competence based' assessment and credentialing frameworks. We suggest an under-utilized approach is the development of collaborative surgical services, where pooling of personnel and resources can improve timely access to surgery, improve standardized assessment and management of TTTS, minimize the impact of the surgical learning curve, and facilitate audit, education, and research. When deciding which centers should offer laser for TTTS and how we decide, we propose some solutions from a collaborative model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Collaboration
  • Fetal surgery
  • Learning curve
  • Procedural competency
  • Twin twin transfusion syndrome

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