Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

World's first baby born via womb transplant from deceased donor

World's first baby born via womb transplant from deceased donor

A Brazilian woman was the first to give birth after receiving a womb transplant from a deceased donor, Reuters reported. She has a disease called Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser Syndrome, commonly known as congenital uterine absence. The pregnancy went smoothly and a baby girl was delivered by caesarean section at just over 35 weeks.

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. 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 first successful live uterus transplant took place in Sweden, in 2014, prompting a rise in uterus transplant programs across the world, wrote the authors of the case study.

Doctors from the Cleveland Clinic transplanted a uterus from a deceased donor in 2016, but the procedure failed.

They are also confident future transplant attempts will help doctors learn the intricacies of pregnancies at every stage.

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.

Doctors also removed the transplanted uterus during her C-section in order to take the mother off immunosuppressant medication required for maintaining a transplanted organ.

The woman received five immunosuppression drugs, as well as antimicrobials, anti-blood clotting treatment and aspirin while in hospital, and immunosuppression was continued up until the woman gave birth.

Uterus transplantation is a relatively new area of medicine.

If uterus transplants ever become a run of the mill procedure, it could change the lives of many, many would-be parents.

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She stayed in intensive care for two days after the surgery and then spent six more on a specialised transplant ward.

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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 Ejzenberg, according to Reuters.

Five months after the transplant, the implanted womb appeared to have been successfully incorporated into her body.

Since live uterus donors are a limitation, the report shows that uterus transplants from deceased donors are feasible and may open access for all women with uterine problems, without the need for live donors, as is the practice now.

Later the doctors fertilised her eggs with the father-to-be's sperm and freezed them.

The fertilised eggs were implanted after seven months. The only complication during pregnancy was a kidney infection, which was treated with antibiotics.

O'Neill says the work on transplantation is important both as an option for infertile couples and to increase scientific understanding of the uterus and pregnancy.

At the age of seven months and 20 days, when the case report was written, the baby was breastfeeding and weighed 7.2kg (15lbs 14oz).

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