Family Fertility Center at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women opens new IVF lab, first in Houston to offer new monitoring technology

Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, one of the nation’s premier hospitals for women’s, fetal and newborn health, announced the opening of their new state-of-the-art in vitro fertilization (IVF) lab featuring the latest technology and techniques in reproductive endocrinology, including the first IVF clinic in Houston to utilize a leading-edge embryo monitoring system called the EmbryoScope. The clinic also offers a full spectrum of pain management options tailored to each patient’s individual needs and supervised by board certified obstetric anesthesiologists.

The hospital’s new IVF lab has two EmbryoScope systems that provide continuous moving time-lapse images of embryos in a controlled environment, which have been shown to increase IVF success. Other advanced equipment in the lab includes specialized miniature incubators and a state-of-the-art alert system that provides real-time monitoring of embryo pH and temperature.

“To create one of the top fertility centers in the country, we utilized the expertise of world-renowned consultants and assembled a nationally prominent team to assist in the design and implementation of our lab,” said Dr. William Gibbons, medical director of the Family Fertility Center and chief of reproductive medicine at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. “Our vision has been to offer our patients the latest and most advanced fertility treatments available to improve pregnancy success rates, especially in those complex cases our team is known for taking on.” Gibbons is a past president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. He is also the director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Baylor College of Medicine.

The Family Fertility Center’s new IVF lab is overseen by two internationally recognized experts, embryologist Kathleen Miller, director of the IVF lab, and reproductive biologist, Gary Smith, Ph.D., director of the andrology lab.

Anesthesia care is a central part of the unique services offered at the center and is led by Dr. B. Wycke Baker, chief of anesthesiology at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. His team includes highly skilled anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists with knowledge and experience in women’s reproductive health. Gibbons notes that in his years of experience offering this level of coordinated care is unique because it provides the highest level of patient comfort and safety during IVF procedures, an important part of the patient experience at the Family Fertility Center.

Another key component of the Family Fertility Center is the fertility preservation program for women facing cancer. Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women is collaborating with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the largest cancer centers in the world, to provide women facing cancer the option of preserving their fertility before they undergo cancer treatments. Dr. Terri Woodard, a fertility specialist who is affiliated with MD Anderson, the Pavilion for Women and Baylor College of Medicine, offers expert care for cancer patients of childbearing age.

Apart from their patient care role, the fertility experts from the Pavilion for Women and Baylor College of Medicine will focus on research that advances the field of reproductive endocrinology. “To be a center of excellence on the forefront of medicine and provide our patients with the best care possible, our goal is to use research to provide new insights into women’s and men’s reproductive health, to be a hub of innovation and to find answers to questions that haven’t even been asked,” said Gibbons. Because of Texas Children’s commitment to research, Gibbons notes, the center has the ability to perform sophisticated investigations in order to evaluate and improve the IVF process.

“When we opened the Pavilion for Women we set out to offer the full spectrum of care from conception to delivery and beyond,” said Cris Daskevich, senior vice president of Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. “Texas Children’s has made a major investment in the Family Fertility Center so that our leading experts could offer the latest fertility treatments, provide hope to patients with complex issues and advance our understanding of reproductive health to the benefit of women and families everywhere.”