Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

First baby born after deceased womb transplant in Brazil

First baby born after deceased womb transplant in Brazil

The details of the first baby born following a uterus transplantation from a deceased donor were reported in a case study from Brazil, published in The Lancet.

"It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors' surgical risks", Saso stated. The in-vitro fertilized eggs were implanted seven months post-surgery. A total of 39 transplants have resulted in 11 live births - with the first taking place in Sweden in 2013.

The U.S. had its first uterine transplant in 2016, but the recipient had to have it removed days later due to a fungal infection, according to a report in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The procedure involved connecting the donor uterus to the veins, arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals of the 32-year-old.

Ten previous attempts, in the US, Czech Republic and Turkey, to achieve a live birth using a womb taken from a dead individual, had all ended in failure. Last year, doctors at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas delivered the first USA baby to be carried in a transplanted uterus.

"However, the need for a live donor is a major limitation as donors are rare, typically being willing and eligible family members or close friends".

In 2016, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic in OH transplanted a uterus from a deceased donor, but it failed after an infection developed.

Brazilian doctors are now planning more transplants following the procedure.

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.

The baby is the first to be delivered from a donated uterus from a dead donor.

And, after a normal pregnancy, a 2.5 kilogram baby was delivered by Caesarean section on 15 December 2017. Uterine transplants can sidestep these issues and allow women who otherwise wouldn't be able to have the chance to carry their own pregnancies. When the researchers wrote the paper describing the case - about seven months after the birth - both mom and the baby girl were healthy. Though it's never been done before, Ejzenberg says "theoretically, it may be possible" to someday use such discarded organs for secondary transplants. Two babies have been born at Baylor University Medical Center in Texas and one in Serbia, also from transplants from living donors. Fifteen were fertilised, with 8 resulting in embryos that were subsequently preserved for later implantation. Until then, the only ways to get a child for those with serious uterine problems were surrogacy or adoption.

Experts hope uterus transplants will one day be more widely available for women without uteruses or with damaged organs - or potentially even transgender women - seeking to become pregnant.

"They should also encourage forthcoming procedures to be done and reported in a transparent way by endorsing prospective registration of the procedures and by developing accurate registries".

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

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