In a medical first, baby born from a deceased donor uterus transplant
In a medical first, baby born from a deceased donor uterus transplant
First baby born via uterus transplanted from dead donor
05 December, 2018, 19:55
A woman in Brazil who received a womb transplanted from a dead donor has given birth to a health baby girl, in the first successful case of its kind, doctors reported.
"Successful pregnancy, without evidence of any compromise in spite of the uterus (womb) being without oxygen for eight hours before transplant, was unique".
"But you can't underestimate the desperation some women feel when they can't have children". The baby was born in December 2017. Currently, only 10 known cases of uterus transplants from deceased donors exist, but all had failed to produce a live birth. Most obviously, doctors do not have to worry about the donor's heath.
"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. On the other hand, the researchers state that transplants from deceased donors might have some benefits over donations from live donors.
The case was announced in a published research paper by The Lancet medical journal. In this case, a cesarean section was performed for birth at 35 weeks gestation, and along with the delivery of an nearly 6 pound healthy baby girl, the uterus was also removed. Ejzenberg says he wanted to deliver the baby a few weeks early to avoid potential problems late in the pregnancy.
The first birth after a womb transplant from a living donor took place in Sweden in September 2013.
Her uterus was removed and transplanted into the 32-year-old during a complex surgery that lasted 10 and a half hours. Ejzenberg said that was done because it would have been expensive to keep the woman on immunosuppressive drugs and the team hoped to use scarce funds to allow other women to undergo the procedure.
"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.
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Unlike most transplantation surgeries "this is not a matter of life and death but more to satisfy a woman's desire to carry a child", Professor Salamonsen said. "That's why I think it's important to do both", she adds.
"Uterine transplant is a novel technique and should be regarded as experimental", he said. With a deceased donor, things are a little more rushed and the timing might not be ideal, O'Neill notes, but surgeons can take more tissue from the vagina and blood vessel network than is possible with a living donor.
Five months before the transplant, the recipient had sixteen eggs from her own functional ovaries removed.
It's hard to say definitively whether this shorter wait time made a difference, but the courses of antirejection drugs and antibiotics potentially pose all sorts of complications for the body that just might sway the odds for a developing embryo. "While uterine surrogacy is legal in the us, this offers an option, albeit an extreme and expensive one, to women who want to carry their own baby".
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A womb transplant is performed by removing the womb from the donor and transplanting it into the recipient by connecting the two major veins and a series of arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals, according to The Lancet.
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