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First UK womb transplant with donated uterus

In the first British case of its kind, surgeons carried out a womb transplant on a woman with a rare condition who received a uterus donated by her sister, a 40-year-old mother of two.

The surgery on the womb recipient, who does not want to be named, took slightly more than nine hours at Churchill Hospital in Oxford in early February, reports The Independent.

Professor Richard Smith, one of the lead surgeons, said the experience had been “quite remarkable”, and that the operation was a “massive success”. He said plans for IVF are on track.

The 34-year-old recipient has been keeping embryos because of plans to go through IVF later this year.

Smith, consultant gynaecological surgeon at Imperial College London, said the operation, which involved more than 30 staff, had been “incredible… the donor and recipient are over the moon”.

“The recipient is doing well on her immunosuppressive therapy and looking forward to hopefully having a baby.”

The transplant cost of around £25 000 was paid for by donations to the charity Womb Transplant UK. Surgeons and medical staff involved in the transplant were not paid for their time.

The woman who had the womb transplant was born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome – a rare condition affecting around one in every 5 000 women.

The condition results in an underdeveloped vagina and a womb that is not fully developed or in some cases, is missing. The first sign of the condition is when a teenage girl does not have periods.

Nevertheless, their ovaries are intact and still function to produce eggs and female hormones, meaning they can potentially conceive via fertility treatment.

The transplant is expected to last for a maximum of five years before the womb is removed.

A second UK womb transplant on another woman is scheduled to take place this autumn, with more patients in the preparation stages.

The surgeries follow a recent study by researchers at the University of Gothenburg who discovered womb transplants are a safe and successful way for women who do not have a functioning organ to cope with infertility.


Fertility & Sterility article – Evolution of surgical steps in robotics-assisted donor surgery for uterus transplantation: results of the eight cases in the Swedish trial (Open access)


The Independent article – First womb transplant takes place in UK after sister donates uterus (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Successful birth after womb is transplanted from deceased donor


Biotech company plans to create embryos for organ harvesting


Landmark application: Man approaches UK High Court in bid to have dead wife’s baby with surrogate











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