Neucrad Health News Desk July 12, 2019
In a pioneering event on June 2019, a mother in her mid-30s gave birth to a baby girl with the help of transplanted uterus from a dead donor at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Doctors performed a caesarean section on the mother to deliver the baby, and according to the sources at the Cleveland Clinic, both the mother and the baby are doing fine after birth. The woman even got discharged within three days of the surgery. It is the first time in the United States, a healthy baby was born from a transplanted uterus which doctors retrieved from a deceased donor. Before this, in December 2017, such type of promising uterine transplantation from dead donor took place in Brazil for the first time in the world. There a woman aged 32 received a uterine transplant from a 45-year-old donor who was already dead due to stroke.
A Ray of Hope for Women with Uterine Factor Infertility (UFI)
The birth of this baby was a part of the clinical trial at Cleveland Clinic involving uterine transplantation among women suffering from uterine factor infertility (UFI). In this condition, women are either born without a uterus, or they had to get their womb removed due to some medical complications. Doctors selected 10 women aged between 21 and 39 years for this transplantation techniques. Out of them, the mother of this baby girl was the third woman to get successfully transplanted. It took 15 months for the mother to give birth to a baby after the transplantation surgery. The medical team found this development revolutionary as it brings along a ray of hope for women experiencing challenges in conceiving and going ahead with pregnancy due to UFI.
How did the clinical trial involving uterine transplantation with deceased donor go ahead?
The clinical trial was a complicated process and involved the active participation of doctors from many departments, including gynaecology, fertility, neonatology, anaesthesiology, infectious disease, and bioethics for transforming hypothesis into reality. The process was time-consuming, where candidates for transplantation underwent seven phases of screening. Doctors went through a detailed study of the medical history of the UFI patients twice before giving them the go-ahead for the clinical trial. After the medical clearance, the women went through in vitro fertilisation process where fertility experts removed the eggs from their ovaries and introduced them with the father’s sperm in the laboratory for the production of sufficient embryos for implantation. After that, doctors went ahead with the transplantation procedure.
What happened during the Transplantation of Uterus in the case of this woman?
In the case of this woman giving birth to a baby girl, doctors retrieved the uterus from the deceased donor due to unavailability of any other living donors at that time. Transplantation experts administered immunosuppressive drugs to the patient after the surgery so that her body does not reject the foreign uterus. There was also a risk of thrombosis or blood clotting within the transplanted womb due to infection. However, in the case of this lady, no untoward incident occurred, and her body could successfully accept the transplanted uterus from the dead donor. After all these procedures, within 15 months of the transplantation surgery, the woman gave birth to a healthy baby through caesarean section.
Uterine Transplantation from Deceased Donor- A Delicate Act
The transplantation surgery in the case of this woman was very delicate since it takes much more time retrieving the womb from the dead donor and introducing it to the body of the recipient. In case of a living donor, both the donor and the recipient are present in the same hospital, and the entire operation gets over much quicker. Moreover, doctors required to extract the lifesaving organs like kidney, heart, and liver from a dead donor at first before going ahead with the removal of life-enhancing organs like the uterus. However, in spite of all these odds, the patient’s body accepted the womb, and she could successfully give birth to a baby after the transplantation.
This revolutionary surgery has given a new horizon to women wishing to give birth to babies in spite of having UFI.