Life begins for 100th time at Lanka Hospitals

Friday, 1 October 2010 05:45 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Making a heart-warming announcement this week, Lanka Hospitals proudly celebrated another milestone at the IVF Fertility Centre, with the birth of its 100th In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF baby).

Within a span of 22 months the IVF Fertility Centre of Lanka Hospitals has accomplished a feat of almost 250 pregnancies and 100 newborn babies, making it the most successful in Sri Lanka with a 43% success rate in COH IVF cycle on par with the best IVF centres in the world.

Speaking at the birth, Lanka Hospitals CEO Lakith Peiris asserted that the objective of setting up the centre was to “bring joy to couples who were distressed without children for many different reasons and give them a glorious family life.”

And this exactly what has been offered to the Ratnayake couple from Ampara, who had been married for six years and turned to IVF after the couple faced complications relating to conception. They have now been blessed with a baby girl which further strengthens the Fertility Centre’s slogan ‘Where life begins’.

Noting that the hospital’s objective in this regard had been fully realised, the CEO added that the centre was not only the most modern centre for fertility treatment in the country, but also the most successful.

“The success rate of The Fertility Centre at Lanka Hospitals is on par with the best IVF centres in the world,” he stated. “The miracle of life is something we hold very sacred at Lanka Hospitals which is why we have only the best working in our Fertility Centre. We are extremely happy and proud to have given life to our 100th infant and I warmly congratulate the parents of our 100th precious little IVF bundle of joy.”

Instigated and managed by Dr. Madara Ralapanawe – the In-House Medical Officer and Clinical Embryologist – Lanka Hospital’s fertility centre was built in September 2008 at a cost of more than Rs. 30 million and is equipped with the latest technology.

The centre features an Em Cell IVF chamber from Australia, which was the first ever machine of its kind in Sri Lanka; HERACell Incubators from Germany; and an Olympus Inverted Microscope and Micromanipulator from Japan.

A dedicated ultra sound scan is available in the unit for follicular monitoring, egg pick up and for scan guided embryo transfer. The culture media systems to grow the embryos are sourced from VitroLife of Sweden and come directly in a cold pack ensuring maintenance of the cold chain.

The Fertility Centre consists of a team of highly skilled and specialised doctors, gynaecologists, embryologists, endocrinologists, urologists and radiologists who conduct comprehensive diagnostics to identify fertility problems and their root causes within the centre.

The team, headed by Medical Services of Lanka Hospitals together with two well experienced Gynaecologists – Dr. Nishendra Karunaratne and Dr. Sudeera Uduwela – and Dr. Ralapanawe, a  Sri Lankan doctor with a Post Graduate Masters Degree in Clinical Embryology, carry out many different procedures, some more advanced than others, but all focused on being the least invasive.

“The team at the Fertility Centre is a very hardworking, efficient unit, which is essential to run the highly accurate protocols needed in this field. This, coupled with the team’s dedication to maintain the sterility of the lab, is another reason behind the centre’s success rate,” stated Dr. Ralapanawe.

Taking into account the distance some patients have to travel and the significant costs involved in these trips to the hospital, Lanka Hospitals has introduced a new value addition to its service, whereby the hospital deals directly with the patient’s family doctor, saving the family the cost of travelling to the hospital and allowing them to carry out their daily activities uninterrupted.  The centre caters to patients from all around the country, including areas such as Hambantota, Galle, Batticaloa, Kandy, Matale, Badulla, Monaragala, Vavuniya, Jaffna, Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura.

Director Medical Services of Lanka Hospitals Dr. Wimal Karandagoda said, “In keeping with Lanka Hospitals’ vision of providing superior quality health care to a larger segment of society, Lanka Hospitals has made all types of fertility procedures affordable, to an extent that this facility could be within the means of a larger cross section of people at all levels.”

The quality of the service at the centre coupled with the cost at which it is provided has also attracted many international couples from the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, Maldives and the Middle East in the hopes of starting a family – which, including local patients, adds up to at least 45 to 50 patients a month, he said.

Affordability, according to him, has been recognised as a critical factor which plays a significant role in the couples’ decision.

Therefore, though the cost of the procedure is comparatively low – as low as 150,000 – payments can also be made in instalments over the course of the procedure – a strategy which goes in line with Lanka Hospitals’ vision of providing quality healthcare at an affordable price.

Dr. Ralapanawe further stressed that they did not use the batch method of IVF cycle patients at the same time as done in most other hospitals, but instead follow the cycle of each individual patient, thus continuing the fertility cycle throughout 365 days of the year and also reducing the risk of any impact on the patient’s body.

“We do IVF cycles every day, therefore we do not manipulate the normal or natural cycles. We have even had requests for auspicious timings for embryo transfers,” he stated.

Thus, the clinical embryologist and his trained team are committed to maintaining the highest confidentiality while providing all couples personalised superior medical care with compassion in a family focused environment.

And with many such milestone births expected in the months to come, Lanka Hospitals promises the health loving public a health care experience that has to date not been experienced in Sri Lanka.