World’s first baby born via uterus transplant from deceased donor

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

A baby has been born to a mother who had a uterus transplant from a deceased woman, in a world first.

The study was welcomed by British fertility expert Dr Srdjan Saso, part of the Womb Transplant UK team, who said: "Our hope, as we plan to kick-start the UK programme at the beginning of 2019, is for the deceased donor uterine transplant programme to grow alongside its "live donor" counterpart".

"The Brazilian group has proven that using deceased donors is a viable option", said the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Tommaso Falcone.

"This is a very important birth for the whole uterus transplant community", said Dr. Liza Johannesson, a uterus transplant surgeon at Baylor who previously worked with the Swedish research team.

Researchers say the case study, published Tuesday in The Lancet, shows that such transplants from deceased donors are feasible and may increase options for women struggling with uterine infertility.

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"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.

Next, the team will repeat the procedure in two more patients.

Four months before the transplant, she had in-vitro fertilisation resulting in eight fertilised eggs, which were preserved through freezing. About a dozen babies have now been born from uteruses provided by living donors-usually the recipient's mother, sister or friend-out of about 50 attempts worldwide.

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

The recipient, who was not identified, gave birth at 35 weeks and three days by cesarean section. He added: "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". "Infertility can have a devastating impact upon couples, particularly for women with absolute uterine factor infertility, for which there has been no effective treatment to date and - for some of these women, womb transplantation is the only way they can carry a pregnancy", stated Mr J Richard Smith, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Clinical Lead at Womb Transplant UK.

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During the delivery, the transplanted womb was removed and showed no abnormalities.

The first baby born after a live donor womb transplant was in Sweden in 2013. Until then, the only ways to get a child for those with serious uterine problems were surrogacy or adoption.

The transplant operation in Sao Paulo in September 2016 involved connecting the donor's organ to the woman's veins and arteries, ligiments and birth canal, Nine News reports.

Image: The transplant surgery lasted 10.5 hours.

"They should also encourage forthcoming procedures to be done and reported in a transparent way by endorsing prospective registration of the procedures and by developing accurate registries". With the introduction of living donors as a possibility in 2014, there was some hope, but living donors are understandably hard to come by because of the intrusive removal process, making this a new frontier for infertility medicine. Two more women in his program are awaiting suitable donors.

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