The report of a Brazilian woman giving birth to a healthy baby girl previous year, post a 10-hour long uterus transplant surgery, has added another feather in the medical world's cap and given a ray of hope to women with uterus infertility.
The female baby was delivered via Caesarean section at a hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in December 2017 when the mother was nearly 36 weeks pregnant, the study said. Though there have been 10 uterus transplants from deceased donors in the United States, the Czech Republic and in Turkey, this is the first to result in a child.
Six weeks after the uterine transplant, which was performed in 2016, the Brazilian woman started having periods again. A total of 39 transplants have resulted in 11 live births - with the first taking place in Sweden in 2013.
The current norm for receiving a womb transplant is that the organ would come from a live family member willing to donate it.
"Up to 15 percent of couples suffer from infertility and every year thousands of women are using gestational carriers in order to conceive", said Dr. Tomer Singer, who directs reproductive endocrinology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Pregnancy was confirmed 10 days after implantation.
Mother and baby left the hospital three days later.
It was also the first uterine transplantation in Latin America.
While babies born from live donor uterus transplants have been done almost a dozen times before, including once in 2017 at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Dallas, this birth marks the first time doctors have been able to remove the uterus from a recently deceased donor and have it result in a live birth. Andraus explained it was important the donor had to be around 45 years old since it becomes harder to retrieve the uterus without complications in older women, and the donor must have given birth at least once in the past to prove her uterus was viable, he said in an interview with The Lancet, a medical journal.
The transplanted uterus was removed during the caesarean section and showed no anomalies.
As with other organ recipients, the patient in this case was put on immune suppression drugs to reduce the chances of her body rejecting the transplant.
"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".
The healthy baby girl was born via cesarean section at Hospital das Clínicas, at the University of São Paulo School of Medicine, after her mother underwent a uterine transplant followed by an In vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancy just seven months later. However, a woman who received a live uterine transplant gave birth to a baby boy in 2017, making it a first for the U.S.
Knowing this could make all the difference not just when it comes to deceased donations, but live ones as well. In the first, the uterus had to be removed from the recipient after an infection occurred; Flyckt said she couldn't say where things stood with the second case other than that the recipient was doing well. "It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors' surgical risks", he said. "There is the potential for uterus transplantation becoming mainstream".