Brazilian doctors said the first baby has been born to a woman with a uterus that was transplanted from a deceased donor, reports say. The 32-year-old woman was born without a uterus due to Mayer-Rokitansky-Hauser syndrome.
The Brazilian researchers are planning two more uterus transplants as part of the study. During the transplantation, there was a period of blood loss that was ultimately managed but might be avoidable in the future, by changing how the organ is initially reconnected to the woman's circulatory system, according to the study. A baby has been born to a mother who had a uterus transplant from a deceased owner for the first time.
But the outcomes and effects of donations from live and deceased donors are yet to be compared.
But researchers said that if transplant teams can reliably use uteruses from deceased donors, it could expand the availability of organs and reduce living donors' risks during surgery to remove the uterus.
Prior to this, 10 other uterus transplants from deceased donors have been attempted in US, Czech Rpwurblic and Turkey. Ten days later, doctors delivered the good news: she was pregnant.
Her baby girl was born via a caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days gestation, and transplanted uterus was removed during the c-section.
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. Until now, the only successful uterus transplants have involved living donors who are typically family members of the recipients. The birth resulting from the case detailed in the Lancet, which took place at Brazil's Hospital das Clínicas last December, is both the first in the world to involve a uterus from a deceased woman, and the first from any uterus transplant in Latin America.
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"The first uterus transplants from live donors were a medical milestone, creating the possibility of childbirth for many infertile women with access to suitable donors and the needed medical facilities", Ejzenberg said.
"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".
The woman's eggs were fertilised before the operation and were implanted only seven months after the transplant.
Uterus transplantation was pioneered by Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom, who has delivered eight children from women who got wombs from family members or friends.
Research has since continued, with informed volunteers still opting to go through the discomfort and potential trauma in the hopes of giving birth. The uterus is removed and immunosuppressants are stopped after birth, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
At the age of seven months and 20 days, when the case report was written, the baby was breastfeeding and weighed 7.2kg (15lbs 14oz).
Eleven children have been born following uterine transplantation from living donors, the first of which occurred in Sweden in September 2013. Of this group, one in 500 women has uterine anomalies.