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Infertile patients cannot afford to wait for treatment while their eggs get older.

Dr. Sherman Silber, Infertility Center of St. Louis, is offering video consultations for patients who need to plan now for their treatment while stay-at-home orders are in place. He is talking to and evaluating patients in their home to comply with social distancing measures.

Dr. Silber is discovering that patients actually prefer this method of telemedicine consultation over the conventional office visit. Patients have conveyed that “it is so much more convenient and less stressful” to have a telemedicine personal consultation than to take a day off from work to travel to the doctor’s office and sit with other nervous patients in the waiting room.

The COVID-19 pandemic is thus changing much of the way we will do things in the future, and for the better. “Our patients are surprisingly much happier with this approach. Of course, at some point we need to perform hands on treatment. But with this new manner of seeing patients, we can come to the right diagnosis and treatment plan for most patients more efficiently, quickly, and painlessly, with no loss of personal one-on-one communication.” This is a very welcome new era of telemedicine that has been forced on us by the current difficult times.

Rare Horse Receives Vasectomy Reversal


Rare Horse May Get to be a Dad, Thanks to Area Surgeon

by Michele Munz
June 18, 2008

Dr. Sherman Silber, Director of the Infertility Center of St. Louis
Dr. Sherman Silber, Director of the Infertility Center of St. Louis

Dr. Sherman Silber has long been a trailblazer in fertility. Now the St. Louis – area surgeon is taking his expertise in humans and using it for endangered animals.

Silber has performed the first successful reverse vasectomy on a severely endangered species. It’s also the first done on an equid – a hoofed mammal with slender legs, flat coat, and mane. The patient was a Przewalski’s horse named Minnesota living in the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park. The 4-foot-tall horse is native to China and Mongolia.

“I’ve always dreamed of using my expertise to contribute in some way to wildlife survival,” said Silber, 66. “It was also exciting to pioneer a new procedure for which humans were the ‘test animal.’

Silber, director of the Infertility Center of St. Louis at St. Luke’s Hospital, was the first to reverse vasectomies, using microsurgery; and was the first to transplant testicles and ovaries in the human, and recover sperm from sterile men and then successfully inject them into eggs.

Five years ago, Silber teamed with St. Louis Zoo researchers to devise reversible contraceptives for endangered animals in captivity. He was successful in vasectomizing and then reversing vasectomies in South American bush dogs at the Zoo.

PostDispatch_HorseVasectomy_080617.Although National Zoo veterinarians were experienced with horse anesthesia and surgery, they needed Silber’s specialized skills for Minnesota, who was “snipped” almost 10 years ago so he could be kept with females. The reversal procedure had to be done in less than an hour for the horse’s safety.

“I did it exactly the same as I would do on a human,” Silber said of the procedure, which was performed in October. Recent semen tests now have confirmed that the procedure was a success.

The next step is to find Minnesota a mate later this month.

National Zoo scientists hope a pairing will produce offspring that will infuse genetic diversity into the captive population and bolster programs to reintroduce the horses into the wild. About 1,500 are in captivity and only 300 roam freely.

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