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More Israeli Medical Firsts

Recent Israeli "firsts" once again confirmed Israel's place at the forefront of medical research and health care technology.
First Publish: 2/19/2004, 3:47 PM / Last Update: 2/19/2004, 5:40 PM

This time, both breakthroughs come from Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital.

Israeli fertility experts at the Hadassah University Hospital-Ein Karem have facilitated the birth of two healthy babies from embryos that were frozen for five years longer than previously thought possible. The happy parents, from Jerusalem, had their IVF (in vitro fertilization) embryos frozen in 1990 as a result of unidentified fertility abnormalities.

The Hadassah process was reported on in the February edition of the prestigious medical journal Human Reproduction. The procedure was carried out by Dr. Ariel Revel of the In Vitro Fertilization Unit of Hadassah's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a team of Hadassah physicians, including Prof. Neri Laufer, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Prof. Alex Simon, Prof. Abe Levin, Prof. Benjamin Reubinoff - all from the IVF Unit - and Dr. Anat Safran, Director of Hadassah's IVF laboratory at Ein Karem.

"Israel has always been at the forefront of the whole issue of fertility treatment, because the scientific community here is dedicated to the subject," Dr. Revel told Israel21c website, "Many of the breakthroughs in this field have come from Israel and at international conferences on the subject, you'll always find Israelis in the front row."

In another field entirely, orthopedic surgeons at Hadassah University Hospital-Mt. Scopus became the first in the world to perform hip replacement surgery (arthoscopy) with the assistance of a computer navigation system. Hadassah Hospital presented the results of the surgery last week, in the person of 53-year-old Amram Weiser of Kibbutz Yad Mordechai, who was the fourth patient to have undergone the computer-assisted operation.

The hardware and software used in the procedure was developed by two foreign companies, Zimmer and Medtronics, which selected Hadassah for the first "live" implementation of their technology because of the in-house orthopedists' expertise in computer-assisted surgery.

"We are proud that world leaders such as [the two companies] chose Hadassah as a site for these special machines," Professor Iri Liebergall, head of Hadassah's two orthopedics departments, said, according to a report by the Israel21c website.