Live donor uterus transplant

Angelo Gonzalez

A year ago, a team of researchers at the University of Gothenburg performed the last of nine planned uterus transplants. Six months later, they have found that live donor uterus transplantation has a low risk despite the extended surgery. For the next phase of the study, doctors will help seven of the women become pregnant through IVF treatment.

Two-thirds of the transplants were successful

After more than a decade of research, doctors were given permission from the Regional Ethical Review Board in Gothenburg to perform the live-donor uterus transplants. This was the first time this procedure had been attempted. Donors were either mothers of the ten receivers or a close relative. Two of the nine cases failed and the uterus had to be removed. One woman dropped out due to medical reasons.

“In a scientific and medical perspective, the transplants have been successful, especially in comparison with other types of transplants that have been introduced and where far fewer initial operations have been successful,” said Prof. Mats Brannstrom, researcher at the University of Gothenburg and chief physician. “The women who had to have their transplanted wombs removed were of course very disappointed, but both of them have recovered well.”

The prospects are good for pregnancy to be achieved

Each patient has had her transplanted uterus for about 16 months. During the second phase of the project, the seven women will receive IVF using their own embryos. “The prospects for success are good. On average, the women started menstruating about two months after the transplant, and we followed up on the women twice a week during the first month after the procedure, then once a week for two months and after that every other week. We found and treated a few mild cases of transplant rejection, but after six months, the immunosuppression could be reduced to relatively low levels in most cases and today all women are doing well and have returned to work,” explained Brannstrom.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, University of Gotheburg
Photo by Angelo Gonzalez at flickr.com


 
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