Women who suffer from cancer will be able to have a natural pregnancy, thanks to a groundbreaking procedure that could be regularly performed in New York for the first time, The Post has learned.
Fertility doctor George Kofinas has submitted a plan to the state Health Department to open a reproductive surgery center downtown at 65 Broadway specializing in ovarian-tissue harvesting and transplantation.
Chemotherapy causes ovarian damage, and women who undergo the treatment are typically left unable to get pregnant.
But under the procedure — akin to a skin graft — a slice of a woman’s ovarian tissue that contains eggs is removed before chemo and stored and frozen.
When a woman is recovered from chemo and cancer free, the tissue is transplanted back into her ovary. Her reproductive function is restored, and she can have a natural pregnancy without in-vitro fertilization/egg donations.
“The demand for this service is projected to be very high. We have an ever-growing number of cancer survivors that come to us now and their ovaries have been completely destroyed by chemotherapy and other kinds of treatment and we can’t help them unless we use donor eggs,” Kofinas said in a March 9 presentation to a Health Department review panel.
“Providing these people with the service of storing their ovarian tissue for the time they become reproductively active is a unique service which we think will serve well in the metropolitan area, the state and the country.”
The only place in the US where the procedure has been frequently performed is the Infertility Center of St. Louis in Missouri, headed by Dr. Sherman Silber.