Thursday, 21 February, 2019


Ever Baby Born Following A Uterus Transplant From A 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 Ever Baby Born Following A Uterus Transplant From A Deceased Donor
Patty Aguilar | 06 December, 2018, 13:51

Brazilian doctors said the first baby has been born to a woman with a uterus that was transplanted from a deceased donor, reports say.

But a viable procedure to transplant uteri from deceased women could drastically increase the availability of the organs.

A 6-pound baby girl was delivered through cesarean section, according to Dr. Dani Ejzenberg, a gynecologist at the Hospital das Clínicas at the Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil, who led the research. Upon encountering a suitable candidate and donor, doctors must act quickly to remove the uterus and transport it to the patient. The woman's previously fertilised and frozen eggs were implanted after seven months and 10 days later she was confirmed pregnant.

The uterus was taken from a 45-year-old donor who had died from a brain haemorrhage.

Ten previous attempts using deceased donors in the Czech Republic, Turkey and the U.S. have failed. There have been previous attempts to birth a child using a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor, however, all have proved unsuccessful. But all of the other successful deliveries so far have been made possible by living donors - often women who opt to donate their uterus to a close friend or family member without one.

"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", he added. The recipient of the transplant was a patient with uterine infertility.

Performed in 2016 in Brazil, the transplant could provide new hope to thousands of women who are unable to have children due to uterine problems.

The uterus was removed from the donor and transplanted into the recipient in a surgery that also involved connecting the donor uterus and recipient's veins and arteries, ligament and vaginal canals.

The baby was born around 36 weeks of pregnancy and is "healthy and developing", along with the mother, the paper says. There have been ten other uterus transplants around the world from deceased donors, but this one is the first to have resulted in a livebirth. Following the 10-hour-long surgery, which connected the uterus and part of the donor's vagina to the recipient's vagina and circulatory system, the woman then took a regimen of immunosuppressant drugs that kept her body from rejecting the donor uterus.

"Successful pregnancy, without evidence of any compromise in spite of the uterus (womb) being without oxygen for eight hours before transplant, was unique".

"In an expanding field such as uterus transplantation, the role of collaborative networks and societies such as the International Society of Uterus Transplantation or new interest groups in already existing scientific societies will be crucial".

"I don't know that they're highlighted enough when we're celebrating these kind of breakthroughs", she said.

"We are authorized to do two more cases and we are focused on improving our protocol to be able to repeat this success story", Natalie Ehrmann Fusco, a spokesperson for the doctors on the project, told IFLScience.

In the end, they held off an additional month after tests suggested the lining of the donor uterus wasn't quite thick enough to support implantation.

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