NYMC Faculty Publications


Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Transplantation of Frozen-Thawed Ovarian Tissue

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Obstetrics and Gynecology


STUDY OBJECTIVE: To show a new approach for orthotopic human ovarian tissue transplantation via robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery. DESIGN: A step-by-step video explanation of the surgical technique (Canadian Task Force classification III). SETTING: Academic medical center. INTERVENTIONS: The robot-assisted transplantation approach consisted of 3 steps: (1) reconstruction of the ovarian tissue graft, (2) preparation of the contralateral menopausal ovary as the recipient site, and 3) transplantation of the reconstructed graft to the bivalved contralateral ovary. Institutional review board approval was obtained. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Although still experimental, cryopreservation and subsequent transplantation of frozen-thawed ovarian tissue are currently the only available methods for prepubertal girls and young women with cancer who are not eligible for established fertility preservation options such as oocyte or embryo cryopreservation [1]. We performed the first reported autologous ovarian transplantation with a conventional laparoscopic technique [2]. To date, over 60 babies have been born after the orthotopic transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue, and this number is growing [3,4]. Until recently, all of these children were born from ovarian transplants that were performed via laparotomy or conventional laparoscopy [5]. We have recently developed a robot-assisted ovarian transplantation procedure that uses an extracellular matrix scaffold to facilitate ovarian reconstruction, handling, and revascularization. Both of the procedures resulted in robust ovarian function and births [6]. The purpose of this video reports the surgical technique in detail, which uses the da Vinci Xi (Intuitive Surgical Inc, Sunnyvale, CA) robotic system for transplantation, and a decellularized human extracellular tissue matrix (Alloderm; LifeCell Corp, Branchburg, NJ) for graft reconstruction. CONCLUSION: Robotic ovarian transplantation may have several advantages, which include precision, more delicate graft handling, and reduced time from tissue thawing to transplantation. The collective usefulness of the extracellular tissue matrix may enhance this technique by enabling a niche for ovarian reconstruction and potentially enhanced revascularization. The feasibility and comparative advantages of this technique are currently being studied in ongoing trials.