1st baby born using uterus transplanted from deceased donor

Transplant surgeon Dr Wellington Andraus left with magnifying glasses and Dr Dani Ejzenberg second left confer with colleagues at the Hospital das Clinicas of the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine Sao Paulo Brazil

Transplant surgeon Dr Wellington Andraus left with magnifying glasses and Dr Dani Ejzenberg second left confer with colleagues at the Hospital das Clinicas of the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine Sao Paulo Brazil

The world's first baby born by a uterus transplant from a deceased donor is healthy and nearing her first birthday, according to a new case study published Tuesday in the Lancet.

The team carefully dissected the uterus from the donor before carrying out the 10-and-a-half-hour operation in September 2016 to insert the organ, which weighed 225g.

The researchers say that transplants from deceased donors might have some benefits over donations from live donors, including removing surgical risks for a live donor, and that many countries already have well-established national systems to regulate and distribute organ donations from deceased donors.

These are still early days for uterine transplants, says Kate O'Neill, co-lead investigator for the University of Pennsylvania's uterus transplant program, who was not part of the work in Brazil.

Besides saving the life of patients with failed vital organs, scientists have also conducted hand or face transplants in recent years to improve a person's quality of life.

The donated uterus was removed during the delivery, as is typical for such transplants - this way the patient doesn't have to keep taking the medications needed to avoid rejection.

A team of doctors in Brazil have announced a medical first that could someday help countless women unable to have children because of a damaged or absent uterus.

Infertility, in general, affects about 15% of couples of reproductive age. 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.

"There are still lots of things we don't understand about pregnancies, like how embryos implant", said Dr. Cesar Diaz told USA Today.

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".

Ejzenberg stressed that it's rare that living women are willing and eligible to donate a uterus to a family member or close friend.

In this study, recently deceased women who had given consent for organ transplant were screened based on previous ability to give birth, blood type, and a lack of any history of sexual disease.

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.

Before the transplant, the woman underwent in vitro fertilization, resulting in eight fertilized eggs that were frozen.

The mother and baby were discharged from the hospital three days after birth.

The baby, weighing 2,550 grams at birth, remains healthy and develops normally 7 months after birth.

So far, there have been 39 uterus transplants from live donors around the world, resulting in 11 births. According to the authors of the case study, around one in 500 women have infertility associated with the womb.

Some who were born without a uterus, other had unexplained malformations, of sustained damaged during childbirth or infection.

The team said the success meant that women for whom surrogacy or adoption was previously the only option for starting a family might soon have another path they could choose.

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