Baby born after womb transplant from dead donor

The medical team after the baby's birth

A new study details the birth of the world's first baby born using a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor. Following the 10-hour-long surgery, which connected the uterus and part of the donor's vagina to the recipient's vagina and circulatory system, the woman then took a regimen of immunosuppressant drugs that kept her body from rejecting the donor uterus.

The baby was delivered by way of a cesarean section on December 15, 2017 at around 36 weeks into the pregnancy.

According to researchers, neither the mother nor the child have experienced complications or abnormalities. Deceased donor uterus transplants have been attempted in the past few years, but none resulted in the birth of a healthy baby.

Singer stressed that pregnancies involving transplanted uteruses from deceased donors have failed in the past, but the Brazilian case is "an exciting step in the right direction".

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.

"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", he said.

The woman - a 32-year-old psychologist - was initially apprehensive about the transplant, said Dr. Dani Ejzenberg, the transplant team's lead doctor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine. Mother and baby were discharged from hospital three days later. Flyckt and her colleagues in Cleveland have also performed two transplants from deceased donors.

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The first baby has been born using the transplanted womb from a dead woman, and British doctors say they are planning to replicate the procedure in the UK. The donated uterus was then removed from the patient after the birth.

The whole field of uterus transplantation is in its early days.

Dr. Richard Kennedy, President of the International Federation of Fertility Societies, who was not involved in the work, commented that the organization "welcomes this announcement, which is an anticipated evolution from live donors with clear advantages and the prospect of increasing supply for women with hitherto untreatable infertility". And unlike most organ transplants, a donated uterus can be safely removed after a successful pregnancy, allowing the woman to cease taking anti-rejection medication.

Researchers point out that the latest landmark birth may create more options for women in the future, since live donors can be hard to find. They also note that it could potentially make uterus transplants more widely available, especially in countries that already regulate and distribute organ donations from deceased donors. And just seven months after the operation, doctors began in vitro fertilization, through which the woman's own fertilized eggs - which had been harvested prior to the transplant surgery - were transferred to her new uterus.

There were no issues during the recipient's pregnancy, other than a kidney infection at 32 weeks which was treated with antibiotics in hospital. "There is the potential for uterus transplantation becoming mainstream".

He said any doubts he had about the potential importance of uterus transplants were erased after meeting the mother of the first baby born after a live donor uterus transplant.

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