First US uterus transplant fails

10 March 2016

Surgeons who performed the uterus transplant had to remove the donor organ due to a complication, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Doctors transplanted the womb from a diseased donor into the 26-year-old woman in a nine-hour operation last month.

"We are saddened to share that our patient, Lindsey, recently experienced a sudden complication that led to the removal of her transplanted uterus," the clinic said.

The circumstance of the complication was being reviewed and according to the clinic, Lindsey, whose name was not provided was doing well and recovering.

"I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude towards all of my doctors. They acted very quickly to ensure my health and safety. Unfortunately,  I did lose the uterus to complications. However, I am doing okay and appreciate all of your prayers and good thoughts," Lindsey said in a statement.

"I was 16 and was told I would never have children and from that moment on, I've prayed that God would allow me that opportunity to experience pregnancy.  And here we are today at the beginning of that journey," Lindsey said while sitting in a wheelchair with her husband, Blake, standing behind her, before she lost the organ, CNN reported.

Womb transplants had been tried in other countries and some failures had been reported. The first successful birth in 2014, was reported from Sweden. A total of five healthy babies had been born from nine transplants so far. The experimental technique, a new frontier, might one day offer women born without a uterus or who lost it to disease a chance to become pregnant, an alternative to adoption or surrogacy.

The failed US transplant was the first of 10 planned by the Cleveland Clinic in a clinical trial, and according to the hospital, that study was continuing.

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