First baby born following uterus transplant from deceased donor: case study

A medical team in São Paulo with a baby born via a uterine transplant.									Divulgação

The transplanted uterus was removed during the caesarean section and showed no anomalies.

Uterus transplants have become more common in recent years, resulting in 11 live births around the world. "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.

The baby girl was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, late past year following a successful 10 hour uterus transplant to a patient who had been born without a womb. Uterine transplantation began in other countries where there are legal or ethical barriers to surrogacy-getting someone else to carry the pregnancy-O'Neill says.

"The Brazilian group has proven that using deceased donors is a viable option", said the clinic's Dr. Tommaso Falcone, who was involved in the OH case. In the first, the uterus had to be removed from the recipient after an infection occurred; Flyckt said she couldn't say where things stood with the second case other than that the recipient was doing well.

Being able to use the uterus from deceased patients opens up the possibility of more organs being available but in the ten attempts so far only this most recent birth has resulted in a successful birth.

The first living donor womb transplant was performed in Sweden in 2013.

In the USA, around 10 percent of women aged between 15 to 44 struggle with fertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The use of deceased donors could greatly broaden access to this treatment, and our results provide proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility", says Dr. Dani Ejzenberg.

"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".

The surgery took place in September 2016.

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The baby girl's mother was born without a uterus as a result of Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome a rare disorder that affects a woman's reproductive system. Seven months after the transplant, doctors transferred an embryo made via in-vitro fertilization from the woman's egg and her husband's sperm into her womb.

The uterus was donated by a 45-year-old deceased mother of three, who died from a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

In this case the 61 year old donor was alive and well at the time, generously giving up her uterus for the cutting-edge operation.

The procedure involved connecting the donor uterus to the veins, arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals of the 32-year-old.

After surgery, the anonymous recipient remained in intensive care for two days before spending another six days on a specialised transplant ward.

To prevent her body from rejecting the new organ, the woman was given five different drugs, along with antimicrobials, anti-blood clotting treatments, and aspirin.

After five months, the uterus showed no sign of rejection, ultrasound scans were normal, and the woman was menstruating regularly.

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.

It also "eliminates the main challenge", Singer added, "which is finding a matching donor and risking the lives of live donors who have to otherwise undergo a major surgery to remove their uterus".

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