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Participation of Pediatric Surgery Training Programs in Fertility Preservation Initiatives

Harris, C. J.; Corkum, K. S.; Laronda, M. M.; Rowell, E. E.

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2020 Jun 20


Purpose: The significant reduction in childhood cancer mortality has allowed for greater emphasis on survivorship issues, including infertility. This study evaluated the participation of pediatric surgery training programs in fertility preservation (FP) and exposure of fellows to adnexal cases. Materials and Methods: A survey was distributed to pediatric surgery fellowship program directors in the United States and Canada through email. Questions focused on FP participation, operative cases, FP program limitations, and fellow completion of adnexal cases. Results: Survey participation was 49% (28/57). Overall, 43% (12/28) of training programs report participation in FP initiatives. Of those who participated, the most common procedures performed were testicular tissue biopsy (58%) and testicular sperm extraction (42%) in males, and surgical transposition of the ovaries (83%) and laparoscopic oophorectomy (67%) in females. The greatest cited limitations on participation were that FP was another department's responsibility (50%) and lack of multidisciplinary team (31%). Notably, lack of operative experience in benign ovarian and testicular procedures (0%) was not a limitation. All programs, regardless of participation in FP, noted that their fellows performed benign and malignant adnexal cases. Conclusion: Less than half of pediatric surgery training programs participate in FP initiatives, despite adequate advanced minimally invasive training of fellows to perform these procedures.

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