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Posted at: Dec 6, 2018, 1:37 AM; last updated: Dec 6, 2018, 1:37 AM (IST)

World’s first baby born from dead donor’s uterus

World’s first baby born from dead donor’s uterus
Medical team holds the first baby born via uterus transplant from a deceased donor at a hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Reuters

Paris, December 5

In a medical first, a mother who received a uterus transplant from a dead donor gave birth to a healthy baby, researchers reported on Wednesday.

The breakthrough operation, performed two years ago in Brazil, shows that such transplants are feasible and could help thousands of women unable to have children due to uterine problems, according to a study published in The Lancet medical journal.

The baby girl was born in September 2016 in Sao Paolo.

Until recently, the only options available to women with so-called uterine infertility were adoption or the services of a surrogate mother.

The first successful childbirth following uterine transplant from a living donor took place in 2013 in Sweden, and there have been 10 others since then.

But there are far more women in need of transplants than there are potential live donors, so doctors wanted to find out if the procedure could work using the uterus of a woman who had died.

Ten attempts were made - in the United States, the Czech Republic, and Turkey - before the success. Infertility affects 10 to 15 per cent of couples. Of this group, one in 500 women have problems with their uterus - due, for example, to a malformation, hysterectomy, or infection - that prevent them from becoming pregnant and carrying a child to term.

“Our results provide a proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility,” said Dani Ejzenberg, a doctor at the teaching hospital of the University of Sao Paulo.

The 32-year-old recipient was born without a uterus as a result of a rare syndrome.

Four months before the transplant, she had in-vitro fertilisation resulting in eight fertilised eggs, which were preserved through freezing.

The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died from a stroke. Her uterus was removed and transplanted in surgery that lasted more than 10 hours. The surgical team had to connect the donor’s uterus with the veins, arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canal of the recipient.

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.

The fertilised eggs were implanted after seven months. Ten days later, doctors delivered the good news: she was pregnant. After nearly 36 weeks, a baby girl weighing 2.5 kg was delivered via caesarean section. The transplanted uterus was removed during the C-section, allowing the woman to stop taking the immunosuppressive drugs.

At age seven months and 12 days, when the manuscript reporting the findings was submitted for publication, the baby was breastfeeding and weighed 7.2 kg. — AFP


Medical milestone took place 2 years ago, reported now  

  • The womb transplant, lasting over 10 hours took place in Brazil’s Sao Paolo in September 2016. The baby was born in December 2017
  • 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 earlier 10 similar transplants from dead donors attempted in the US, Czech Republic and Turkey failed or resulted in miscarriage. However, for 32-year-old recipient born with rare syndrome, it proved lucky
  • The first childbirth following uterine transplantation from living donors occurred in Sweden in September 2013. In total, there have been 39 procedures of this kind, resulting in 11 live births so far

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