One of the greatest joys in my life is helping couples achieve their dream of having a baby. My career has been dedicated to helping advance our medical understanding of infertility and treating couples with the most complex fertility issues.
To help carry out this mission, I am honored to officially announce the opening of The Family Fertility Center, our new state-of-the-art lab and in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinic located on the third floor behind the gift shop at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women.
The Family Fertility Center has been a vision of mine for many years now. Throughout my career, I’ve helped design two other labs, one of which has demonstrated world-class scientific achievement, but I can proudly say that due to advancements in our field, this is the best facility. The Family Fertility Center has only been possible because Texas Children’s Hospital approached this new facility in the same way it approaches every new program, to make it among the very best in the United States. To accomplish this, we utilized the expertise of world-renowned consultants and assembled a nationally prominent team to assist in the design and implementation of our lab. What many couples may not be aware of when selecting an IVF clinic is that the technology, embryologists and equipment in the lab are important components to helping would-be parents achieve their dream.
Our new lab has the latest state-of-the-art equipment, including the EmbryoScope, an embryo monitoring system that provides continuous moving time-lapse images of embryos as they grow. This technology allows us to identify the healthiest embryo to transfer to the patient, which has been shown to improve IVF success. We are the first in Houston to offer this technology and are among the early adopters in the United States. We also have micro-incubators that are equipped with fiber-optic, real-time pH monitoring to protect the quality of the embryo environment.
Providing the highest level of patient comfort and safety is very important to us at Texas Children’s, so another unique aspect of our IVF clinic is that our team is comprised of highly-skilled obstetric anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists. Each patient discusses their pain management options with someone from the anesthesiology team before they undergo their procedure. We offer the full scope of anesthesiology services, from sedation to general anesthesia. Offering this level of coordinated care is a game-changer and an important part of the patient experience in our clinic.
We are also working in partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide young women facing cancer the option of preserving their fertility before they undergo cancer treatments. After a devastating diagnosis like cancer, many women fear that they can never have children since treatments like chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can affect fertility. We counsel these women before their treatment begins to discuss their options and offer them the chance to one day have a child of their own.
Fifty percent of patients who seek treatment at our facility are Texas Children’s Hospital employees. Full-time Texas Children’s employees receive up to $20,000 in fertility benefits, which includes medication and additional IVF cycles if necessary.
I’m looking forward to offering the latest and most advanced fertility treatments available in our new state-of-the-art facility at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. Building families is what our mission is all about.
By Dr. William Gibbons