First Successful Uterus Transplant from Deceased Donor Leads to Healthy Baby

Doctors hold a baby girl born to a mother who received a uterus from a deceased donor in Brazil. A novel transplantation procedure may help more infertile women become pregnant

First baby born via uterus transplanted from dead donor

TThe first successful birth of a child from a womb transplanted from a dead donor in Brazil should give hope to thousands of British women that they can have children, doctors said.

The mother, a 32-year-old woman, was born without a uterus due to Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a condition affecting one in 4,500 women.

Surgeons spent 10.5 hours plumbing in the organ by connecting veins, arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals.

The donor was 45 years old and died of bleeding on the brain, caused by a stroke.

"The number of people willing and committed to donate organs upon their own deaths are far larger than those of live donors, offering a much wider potential donor population".

There have been 10 uterus transplants from deceased donors attempted in the USA, the Czech Republic, and Turkey, but this is the first one which resulted in a live birth.

After surgery, the anonymous recipient remained in intensive care for two days before spending another six days on a specialised transplant ward. Babies have been born after womb transplants from live donors, typically from a relative, but using organs from dead donors could widen the... Ejzenberg said that was done because it would have been expensive to keep the woman on immunosuppressive drugs and the team hoped to use scarce funds to allow other women to undergo the procedure. But they said that relying on deceased donors could expand the options for women who do not have a friend or family member willing to donate or that would be a good match.

How is a womb transplant performed?

In this trial, the mother was given standard doses of immune suppression medications for nearly six months, with positive results, before implantation of the embryo was completed.

The early embryos produced by IVF treatment had been frozen and stored four months before the transplant.

Professor Lois Salamonsen, research group head of endometrial remodelling and Adjunct Professor at Monash University's Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology said she had received a few calls form Australian women over the years asking why uterine transplantation wasn't done in Australia.

Pregnancy was confirmed 10 days after implantation, said the medical team.

On 15 December 2017, a baby girl weighing 2,550 grams (5.6 pounds) was delivered through Caesarean section.

Once the baby was delivered, the team removed the womb in the same operation.

After the birth both patient and baby appeared healthy and well. At the time of writing the study, the baby was 7 months old and growing normally.

The authors pointed out that despite its success the procedure involved major surgery, high doses of immunosuppressants, and moderate levels of blood loss.

Before uterus transplants became possible, the only options to have a child were adoption or surrogacy.

Uterine transplants from living donors have occurred before.

The breakthrough opens up the possibility of harvesting wombs from donor patients after death in the same way as other organs, ending the need for live donors.

Richard Kennedy, president of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), said: "The IFFS welcomes this announcement which is an anticipated evolution from live donors with clear advantages and the prospect of increasing supply for women with hitherto untreatable infertility".

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