First baby born from a uterine wall transplant

A woman gave birth after she received a uterine transplant from a deceased donor, marking the first instance of a transplant from a non-living donor leading to a successful birth, according to STAT.

"This is really an exciting moment," Rebecca Flyckt, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic, told STAT. "It's proof of concept that a deceased donor is really a good model."

This landmark case was published in Lancet and follows researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil who removed the uterus from the donor, who had died of a brain hemorrhage, and transplanted the organ into a 32-year-old woman who did not have a uterus due to a disorder.

The patient received an embryo through in-vitro fertilization and had a cesarean section Dec. 15, 2017. Both mother and child were healthy after the procedure. Once the baby was delivered, surgeons performed a hysterectomy to remove the uterus.

Due to biological considerations, the pool of uterine transplant donors is small. The donor and the recipient must have matching blood types, in addition to other quality factors. In addition, a uterus can only last for so long once cut from a patient's blood supply via transplantation. The patient also has to take immune-suppressing medication to reduce the chances of transplant rejection.

"This is a very important birth for the whole uterus transplant community," Liza Johannesson, MD, a uterus transplant surgeon at Waco, Texas-based Baylor University, told STAT.  "It's a landmark birth."

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