First US Baby Born To a Woman Transplanted With a Womb Received From Deceased Donor

9The unique factor of this event

What is unique about Cleveland Clinic’s transplant research program is that they use wombs from only deceased donors which removes the risk of harm to a living donor who would have to undergo a major surgical procedure to have her uterus removed. Doctor Tzakis said “The transplantation of a uterus into a woman is a complex procedure that requires suppression of her immune system response.”

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He went on to explain that through this research the clinic hopes to make such extraordinary things and ordinary feature for the benefit for the hundreds of women who opt for the procedure. However, the process is a complex one that involves several critical steps to follow. Since trials began, five successful transplants have been carried out among which three were successful including the one that resulted in a live birth.

Image Source: clevelandclinic.org

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10How it works

The uterus transplant method is meant to be life-enhancing and not life-saving. It results in one to two live births after which the uterus is removed and then disintegrated. This means the procedure is meant only for a woman to conceive after which she will remain without a uterus. By July 2019, more than a dozen babies have been born by transplanted uterus method of live donors.

Image Source; clevelandclinic.org

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11The study involved ten women

The study involved ten women and several doctors, surgeons, psychiatrists, social workers and bioethicists who also evaluated the volunteers and briefed them about the risks involved and the limitations of the study. Once a donor is found, the recipient’s ovaries undergo stimulation to produce multiple eggs which are retrieved and fertilized through IVF. The embryos are then frozen.

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12The uterus is removed after the delivery

After selection for the study, the woman’s ovaries are stimulated to produce multiple eggs. Her eggs are retrieved and fertilized with sperm in the IVF lab.6 embryos are selected and frozen. They are also given anti-rejection drugs and the uterus is then transplanted into the recipient’s pelvis and connected with the blood vessels.

When the uterus heals, the recipient starts having periods. After six months, the embryos are implanted into the uterus. The target is to achieve one or two live births. Once the pregnancy is successful, the delivery is done through C-section after which a hysterectomy is performed on the woman and the uterus removed. The drugs are then stopped to prevent long term effects on health. Watch the video.

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