First baby born to mom using uterus from a deceased donor

Doctors hold a baby girl born to a mother who received a uterus from a deceased donor in Brazil. A novel transplantation procedure may help more infertile women become pregnant

Doctors hold a baby girl born to a mother who received a uterus from a deceased donor in Brazil. A novel transplantation procedure may help more infertile women become pregnant

A healthy baby girl has been born using a uterus transplanted from a dead donor, doctors say. "It enables use of a much wider potential donor population, applies lower costs and avoids live donors' surgical risks", he said.

Her fertilised eggs were implanted after seven months - and 10 days after implantation, the recipient was confirmed to be pregnant.

The use of a deceased donor is a significant achievement that could greatly increase access to the procedure, said Stefan Tullius, chief of transplant surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston who has participated in living donor uterus transplant surgery.

What is a uterus transplant?

In a surgery lasting 10.5 hours, the uterus was removed from the donor and transplanted into the recipient, where it was connected to the recipient's veins and arteries as well as her ligaments and vaginal canals.

The Lancet reports that the mother had Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, a condition that causes the uterus and vagina to not develop properly.

While babies born from live donor uterus transplants have been done almost a dozen times before, including once in 2017 at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Dallas, this birth marks the first time doctors have been able to remove the uterus from a recently deceased donor and have it result in a live birth. Last year, doctors at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas delivered the first USA baby to be carried in a transplanted uterus.

The baby was born at the Hospital Das Clinicas at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine in Brazil.

While there have been several cases of successful deliveries following uterine transplants from family and friends, it was once believed that a transplant from a deceased donor was not possible.

After the recipient's womb and ovarian are functioning, the embryos are transplanted into her uterus - generally at least one year after the transplant. The first baby born after one of these procedures was in Sweden in 2013, as part of an experimental study led by Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom.

The transplanted uterus was removed during the C-section, allowing the woman to stop taking the immunosuppressive drugs.

"This represents a major advance in reproductive health", she said.

"The first uterus transplants from live donors were a medical milestone", added Dr Ejzenberg.

The miracle baby girl was born in Brazil via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days, weighing around 6lbs.

"The Brazilian group has proven that using deceased donors is a viable option", said the clinic's Dr. Tommaso Falcone, who was involved in the OH case.

Study authors wrote that, "the success expands prospects for childbirth among women with infertility attributable to uterine factors".

But in the case of a uterus transplant from a cadaver, the potential danger for infections is more, says Kamini A. Rao, Medical Director, Milann-The Fertility Centre, Bengaluru. Almost a year later, mother and baby are both healthy.

"This can be an important limitation when you don't have a close friend or a relative who can donate their uterus", said Doctor Wellington Andraus, the head transplant surgeon involved in the procedure.

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