Healthy baby born to woman following uterus transplant from deceased donor

Faith Castro
December 6, 2018

Eleven children have been born following uterine transplantation from living donors, the first of which occurred in Sweden in September 2013. The baby was born by cesarean section between 34 and 36 weeks at the Hospital das Clinicas, University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine. He also tried the procedure on a second Brazilian woman, but she had to have the uterus removed two days after the operation because of complications.

After the recipient's womb and ovarian are functioning, the embryos are transplanted into her uterus - generally at least one year after the transplant.

Brazilian doctors are reporting the world's first baby born to a woman with a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor. In 2011 a team in Turkey was the first to transplant a uterus from a deceased donor, but the procedure did not lead to a live birth. Those transplants can only be done for women who find a donor, who must undergo a complicated surgery and lengthy recovery, Dr. Tullius said.

He said: "All in all, the research to be done in this field (whether from alive or deceased donors) should maximise the live birth rate, minimise the risks for the patients involved in the procedures (donor, recipient, and unborn child), and increase the availability of organs".

The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died of subarachnoid haemorrhage - a type of stroke involving bleeding on the surface of the brain.

Dr Wellington Andraus of the department of Gastroenterology at the University of Sao Paulo who also worked on the case study told Newsweek the woman's story is a "source of hope" for patients struggling with fertility caused by the uterus or a lack thereof.

Brazilian doctors are now planning more transplants following the procedure.

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

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The current norm for receiving a womb transplant is that the organ would come from a live family member willing to donate it.

"Up till now it was not known that uterus can survive more than four hours out of a living body, however, the present case shows that the uterus is a quite strong an organ", Ms Sharma said. "While uterine surrogacy is legal in the US, this offers an option, albeit an extreme and expensive one, to women who want to carry their own baby".

It is estimated that between 10 to 15 percent of couples of reproductive age worldwide are affected by infertility.

"They should promote education and guidance so that the groups performing uterus transplantation for the first time can benefit from the experience of the pioneers". Dr Falcone said the fact that the transplant was successful after the uterus was preserved in ice for almost eight hours demonstrated how resilient the uterus is.

Three teams in the USA, including O'Neill's, are now working on uterine transplants.

Before uterine transplants, these women could only adopt children, or use a surrogate.

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.

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