Ovarian tissue freezing in pubertal girls
The retrieval of ovarian tissue is performed with bloodless surgery (laparoscopy). A part of the ovary is taken through three holes in the abdominal wall and divided into small cubes, which in the embryology laboratory are prepared for freezing under special conditions in special media. After that they are immersed and stored in liquid nitrogen to await your child's cure. The intervention itself lasts about half an hour; the hospital stay is 2-3 days. Years later, these cubes are thawed and carefully implanted again by laparoscopy into the non-functioning ovary to awaken it.
Freezing ovarian tissue is an option for fertility sparing in girls pre-puberty, when the cancer requires immediate initiation of treatment, and we cannot afford the time required for stimulation. The procedure is less successful than egg freezing, but is a good option for upcoming therapy that may affect the ovaries.
A lot of effort is put our days also in the so-called in vitro maturation of primordial follicles and immature eggs, i.e. developing the eggs from the cubes to maturity in an incubator. This is done because in leukemias cancer cells are present in the ovarian cubes and transplantation is not done in these cases.
Ovarian tissue freezing is included as a procedure in the Assisted Reproductive Technology standard, and is performed at our hospital.
With this procedure, we will not remove your child's ovary, but will only separate and preserve a small part of it.