The first baby has been born following a womb transplant from a deceased donor, a study published in The Lancet has revealed.
The successful transplant, performed by surgeons in Brazil, could greatly broaden access for women with uterine infertility to the treatment, without the need for live donors.
The procedure to transfer the uterus from donor to recipient lasted more than 10 hours.The surgery involved connecting the recipient’s veins and arteries, ligaments and vaginal canals with the donated uterus.
The woman’s previously fertilized and frozen eggs were implanted after seven months and 10 days later she was confirmed pregnant.
It comes after 10 previously known cases of uterus transplants from deceased donors – in the United States, the Czech Republic and Turkey – failed to produce a live birth.
The donor was a 45-year-old woman who died of subarachnoid haemorrhage – a type of stroke involving bleeding on the surface of the brain.
The girl born in the Brazilian case was delivered via caesarean section at 35 weeks and three days, and weighed 2,550 grams (nearly 6 lbs), the case study said.
Dr Dani Ejzenberg, from Hospital das Clínicas in Sao Paolo, said: “The first uterus transplants from live donors were a medical milestone, creating the possibility of childbirth for many infertile women with access to suitable donors and the needed medical facilities.
The Brazilian team followed protocols established by Dr. Mats Brännström and his team at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, where the first successful uterus transplant, that one from a living donor, was performed in 2013. That recipient mother gave birth in 2014.