HomeBabyWoman Gives Birth After First Ever U.S. Uterus Transplant
Woman Gives Birth After First Ever U.S. Uterus Transplant
Dec 4, 2017
A Texas mom recently gave birth after the first ever successful uterine transplant. The woman, who has remained anonymous, was born without a uterus. The transplant was a first for U.S. doctors who replicated a previously successful operation done by Swedish doctors in 2014. The transplant uses donated uteri from various sources - some family, some random donors, and in some cases, cadavers.
Baylor University Medical Center. Doctors at Baylor University Hospital say a woman has just given birth from a successfully transplanted uterus. The event marks the first time in U.S. history. Swedish doctors had done the same surgery successfully in 2014.
The Transplant. The uterine transplant involves surgically inserting a donated uterus into a woman who is trying to conceive but can't. The surgery itself is actually meant to be a temporary transplant.
The Study. The woman is part of a clinical study being done by doctors at Baylor University. They have transplanted eight of a total ten transplants so far that will all be used as part of their clinical trial to help women with fertility issues attempt pregnancy with a new - temporary - uterus.
The Numbers. The uterine donors come from family, friends, donor lists, and even cadavers. Of the eight women who have had the transplant to date, one has given birth, one is pregnant, two are attempting to conceive currently, and four of the transplants were not successful and had to be removed.
The Reason For Being Temporary. Doctors have designed the surgery as a fertility treatment rather than a lifelong transplant. The reasoning allows the women to use in vitro fertilization to conceive and then remove the womb once the child is delivered. Doing so allows the woman the opportunity to have children without having to take a lifetime of medications to keep her body from rejecting the transplanted organ down the road.
Changing The Way Transplants Are Done. Transplants have been thought of primarily as life-saving last effort options for patients who need them. The uterine transplants change the way this is viewed by making transplants an option for improving the quality of life as an elected treatment rather than a life-saving necessity.
The Women. The women in the study have all kept their names private for the time being, but it has been released that most of the women had Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) Syndrome. The syndrome renders a woman infertile.
Replicating The Original Procedure. The original successful procedure was done in a Swedish hospital in 2014. Dr. Liza Johannesson, a Swedish surgeon on that original team, left Sweden to come join Baylor's research team.
Successful Replication. "It was a very exciting birth. I've seen so many births and delivered so many babies, but this was a special one," Johannesson said. Replicating the Swedish surgery means the team has successfully proven the transplant can be used on others.
The Donation. According to reports, the uterus for this first birth in the U.S. was donated by a nurse from Dallas. Taylor Siler is a mother of two herself and stated she wished to allow someone else the chance to become a mother by donating her uterus.
Previous Trials. The procedure is still in its infancy itself. The first ever transplant in the U.S. was done in 2016 and was unsuccessful. The recipient, Lindsey McFarland, had to have the uterus removed following a yeast infection.
The Procedure. The transplant itself takes doctors around nine hours to complete, but the team says it is so much more than that. Dr. Giuliano Tesla, head of the transplant team at Baylor stated, "We do transplants all day long. This is not the same thing."
Delivering Hope. The team is looking to be able to give something back to their patients: hope. The transplant is specific to women who have been told their entire lives that they could not have children. It deals with women who have lost hope of ever becoming a mother.
Changing The Medical World. The surgery allows these women a new shred of hope. It allows the women who have never been able to hope for a family of their own, a chance to hope again.
Emotional Journey. Doctors on the team described what they've experienced with the study to date as being a highly emotional experience. "I totally underestimated what this type of transplant does for these women. What I've learned emotionally, I do not have the words to describe," Dr. Tesla explained.