Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

First baby is born using transplanted womb from dead woman

Medical World Adds a Feather to Their Cap as First Baby Delivered Post Uterus Transplant From Deceased Donor Representational Image
Delores Daniels | 07 December, 2018, 23:51

Scientists have reported the first successful birth of a baby from a transplanted uterus from a deceased donor.

The patient was a 32-year-old woman with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes the vagina or uterus to either under-develop or not develop at all.

Writing in the Lancet, Ejzenberg and colleagues report how they removed a womb from a 45-year-old woman who had died from a burst blood vessel in the brain and who had previously given birth three times.

Since then, he has participated in a live donor surgery, during which an identical twin donated her uterus to her sister, who was born without one.

Her baby girl was born via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days, weighing 2.5kg (about 6lbs) and the transplanted uterus was removed during the caesarean section and showed no anomalies.

In 2011 a team in Turkey was the first to transplant a uterus from a deceased donor, but the procedure did not lead to a live birth.

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"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", said Dr Ejzenberg in a statement about the procedure.

The Journal cites 10 previous cases of failed uterus transplants from deceased donors, in the United States, the Czech Republic and Turkey.

But crucially, similar transplants have been done with fetuses which came from a live donor.

The whole field of uterus transplantation is in its early days.

The surgery involved connecting the donor uterus' and recipient's veins and arteries, ligaments, and vaginal canals.

Professor Lois Salamonsen, research group head of endometrial remodelling and Adjunct Professor at Monash University's Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology said she had received a few calls form Australian women over the years asking why uterine transplantation wasn't done in Australia.

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Ten days after implantation, the recipient was confirmed to be pregnant.

Last year, doctors at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas delivered the first US baby to be carried in a transplanted uterus. The team said the baby girl was healthy and developing normally. Flyckt and her colleagues in Cleveland have also performed two transplants from deceased donors.

Singer stressed that pregnancies involving transplanted uteruses from deceased donors have failed in the past, but the Brazilian case is "an exciting step in the right direction".

Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society president Clifford Librach said the challenges of transplant surgery, the need for immunosuppressing drugs to stop organ rejection that could affect the fetus, and other potential risks are big factors that will likely keep this surgery from becoming commonplace.

The breakthrough operation, carried out in September 2016, 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 on Wednesday in The Lancet medical journal.

There have been several successful pregnancies using uterus transplants from live donors, since the procedure was pioneered by Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom about five years ago. 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.

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Although uterus transplants are a growing area of medicine, they remain highly experimental and are very hard surgeries to complete.

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