Doctors at the Materno Infantil hospital in Malaga have successfully removed ovarian tissue from two teenage girls with cancer, to preserve their fertility. This was a pioneering operation in the region, as it was the first time it had been carried out since a Bank for the Cryopreservation of Ovarian Tissue was set up in Andalucía.
The first operation was carried out on 26 May on a 14-year-old with a malignant tumour whose treatment posed a high risk of early fallopian failure. She is currently having chemotherapy and has suffered no complications as a result of the surgery.
The second operation was on 4 June on a 15-year-old diagnosed with a malignant orbital tumour. She needed immediate chemotherapy and her future fertility was at risk. She suffered no complications either. The result of the anatomopathological studies of their ovarian tissue showed that the follicles were normal and had not been affected by their illness.
The Regional University Hospital in Malaga has been authorised to extract, preserve and reimplant this tissue since last October and the operations are carried out in the paediatric operating theatres at the Materno Infantil hospital.
The procedure involves removing a part of one of the ovaries through minimally invasive surgical techniques (laparoscopy). The cryopreservation procedure then takes place. A small part of the ovarian tissue is sent to be studied and the rest is preserved at a low temperature in containers of liquid nitrogen.
Although it was possible to preserve this tissue at banks in other regions, few patients did so, and doctors hope the Andalusian bank will change that.