Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Medical | By

First baby born from deceased organ donor's womb

First baby born from deceased organ donor's womb

The donor uterus was removed from the receiving patient during the c-section. Those transplants can only be done for women who find a donor, who must undergo a complicated surgery and lengthy recovery, Dr. Tullius said. "This would increase the availability of the uterus as living donors are always in scarcity", Ranjana Sharma, Senior Consultant, (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, told IANS.

A mother has given birth to a healthy baby girl after surgeons implanted a womb in her body from a deceased donor.

It was also the first uterine transplantation in Latin America.

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She added, however, that the outcomes and effects of womb donations from live and deceased donors have yet to be compared, and said the technique could still be refined and optimised.

Women who have irreversible infertility are the primary candidates to receive a transplant. But according to the authors, they are the first to have accomplished it with a uterus from a deceased donor (there was a documented attempt in 2011, but the pregnancy ended in miscarriage). Most transplant teams envision one day using uteruses from both living and deceased donors. There have so far been a total of 39 such procedures, resulting in 11 live births.

"Up to 15 percent of couples suffer from infertility and every year thousands of women are using gestational carriers in order to conceive", said Dr. Tomer Singer, who directs reproductive endocrinology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.


The team said the success meant that women for whom surrogacy or adoption was previously the only option for starting a family might soon have another path they could choose.

While researchers in countries including Sweden and the U.S. have previously succeeded in transplanting wombs from living donors into women who have gone on to give birth, experts said the latest development was a significant advance.

"The numbers 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". Transplants from living donors are scheduled and can take place in adjacent operating rooms. They cite women with inoperable fibroids, or abnormal uterine growths, those who have experienced embryo implantation failure and those who have received pelvic radiation as categories of women who may be able to benefit from uterus transplantation in the future. The 32-year-old woman was born without a uterus due to Mayer-Rokitansky-Hauser syndrome.

In a surgery lasting 10.5 hours, the uterus was removed from the donor and transplanted into the recipient, where it was connected to the recipient's veins and arteries as well as her ligaments and vaginal canals.

Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society president Clifford Librach said the challenges of transplant surgery, the need for immunosuppressing drugs to stop organ rejection that could affect the fetus, and other potential risks are big factors that will likely keep this surgery from becoming commonplace. Immunosuppression was continued outside of hospital until the birth.

The woman's pregnancy was normal, and doctors performed a Caesarean section on December 15, 2017, after about 36 weeks (a full term is about 40 weeks). Non-invasive prenatal testing was done at 10 weeks, showing a normal foetus, and ultrasound scans at 12 and 20 weeks revealed no fetal anomalies.

There were no major issues during the pregnancy and no signs of organ rejection. The immunosuppressive therapy was suspended at the end of the hysterectomy. The healthy infant weighed around six pounds at birth, and continues to develop normally.

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