First Uterus Transplant Planned in US

First Uterus Transplant Planned in USFirst Uterus Transplant Planned in US

Crossing new frontiers in infertility treatment and organ transplantation, doctors at Cleveland Clinic in the US, hope to transplant a uterus from a deceased donor to a woman without a uterus.

The innovative procedure, tentatively scheduled for the next few months, would enable a woman with ovaries but no uterus to become pregnant and deliver a child. Eight women have reportedly started the screening process, WebMD reported.

These women were either born without a uterus - a condition that affects 1 of every 4,500 newborn girls - or have had their uterus removed or it is damaged.

The clinical trial, a first in the United States, was announced on Thursday, a year after the first live birth from a uterine transplant occurred in Sweden. In Sweden, however, live donors are used. The Cleveland Clinic doctors decided on deceased donors to avoid putting healthy women at risk.

A donor and recipient would have to have matching blood and tissue type.

The hospital plans to attempt the procedure 10 times before deciding whether to continue with it.

“There are women who won’t adopt or have surrogates, for reasons that are personal, cultural or religious,” said Dr. Andreas Tzakis, director of solid organ transplant surgery at a Cleveland Clinic hospital in Weston, Florida, who is spearheading the project.

“These women know exactly what this is about. They’re informed of the risks and benefits. They have a lot of time to think about it. Our job is to make it as safe and successful as possible,” he said.

It’s thought that as many as 50,000 American women might be potential candidates for the procedure.

The transplantation process is not without risks. The women must take powerful transplant anti-rejection drugs, undergo surgery to implant the uterus and likely face a subsequent surgery to remove the organ after one or two babies are born.