2018 is a special year in so many ways for all of us at the Lister Fertility Clinic. It marks the 40th anniversary of the birth of the first IVF baby, Louise Brown, with the ground-breaking work of Robert Edwards, Patrick Steptoe and their team providing a glimmer of hope to those for whom there had previously been only despair. Their pioneering Nobel-prize winning work that often faced immense scientific and social challenges has revolutionized reproductive science and underpinned many later advances such as preimplantation genetic screening of embryos and stem cell research.
The clinic itself is celebrating its 30th birthday and in that time we have remained true to the ethos that was instilled in all of us by the clinic founder, Sam Abdalla. We creep ever closer to the milestone of our 18,000th baby, an achievement we are immensely proud of. Where other clinics may recommend alternative treatments to those more complex patients that may ensure they avoid affecting their success rates negatively (perhaps a topic for my next blog!), our consistently excellent success rates has been based on a philosophy of allowing patients treatment even with a lower likelihood of success.
Our unique 30 years of experience and data allows us to give clear realistic information about success, helping empower patients, even those with low ovarian reserve or recurrent treatment failures who have often been declined treatment elsewhere, to make informed decisions. We excel in individualising their care and strive to give them the success they hope for and where we fail, the process may often allow them to come to terms with having to consider an alternative path in their journey.
Personally, following someone of Sam’s experience, stature and wisdom as clinical director is an immense honour. Moving forward with our outstanding team, we want to build on what we do so well already with the largest and most successful egg donation program in the country, one of the leading egg freezing programs and the most advanced laboratory sperm and embryo selection methods. In tandem, with our research efforts and my work on HFEA license committees will look to be part of ensuring the best possible advances and regulation for our patients. With my background in male fertility, I am incredibly excited at the prospect of an integrated in-house Andrology service at the Lister with our incredible urology colleagues and along with the introduction of new satellite services including in Hertfordshire, Berkshire and introduction of a number patient-friendly apps we hope to make the patient journey easier and even more successful.
The future for the clinic and our patients is incredibly exciting and I look forward to writing another blog in the near future announcing our 20,000th baby!
Mr James Nicopoullos, Clinic Director
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