First Uterus Transplant Successfully Completed in the UK
In a pioneering event on British soil, medical professionals in the United Kingdom have achieved the successful completion of the first uterus transplant procedure. This breakthrough opens new doors for infertile women to give birth. According to reports from The Guardian, the surgical team, composed of skilled medical practitioners, orchestrated the milestone surgery. The living uterus donor was the woman's 40-year-old sister, who is already a mother of two, as reported by The Guardian.
This significant achievement builds upon prior accomplishments in this field. Over 90 similar transplant surgeries have been carried out across different countries, including Sweden, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Germany, Serbia, and India. These operations have resulted in approximately 50 children being born.
Plans are underway for a second uterus transplant procedure in the UK, scheduled for the fall of 2023. As per the strategy, medical authorities have obtained authorization for conducting ten surgeries using organs from deceased donors, alongside five surgeries involving living donors.
For the woman afflicted with the rare Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome (MRKH), the uterus transplant presents the opportunity to conceive and give birth. This uncommon syndrome affects about one in 5,000 women, leading to underdeveloped vagina and uterus, while the ovaries remain intact and functional.
Co-lead surgeon Isabel Quiroga, a consultant surgeon at the Oxford Transplant Centre, which is part of the Oxford University Hospital, expressed her enthusiasm and immense pride in the successful outcome. The patient, she conveyed, is "incredibly happy" and "over the moon," with hopes to welcome not one but two children. Quiroga also noted that the transplanted uterus is functioning perfectly, and the patient's progress is closely monitored.
The recipient, residing in England and preferring to remain unnamed, received her sister's uterus. The surgery took nine hours and twenty minutes, and the recipient's recovery progress allowed her to leave the hospital after ten days. Co-lead surgeon Professor Richard Smith, clinical lead of the charitable organization Womb Transplant UK and a gynecological surgeon at Imperial College London, described the operation as a "tremendous success."
The intricate procedure, involving over 30 medical experts, began with the removal of the uterus from the older sister and lasted 8 hours and 12 minutes. The operation for the younger sister commenced an hour before the removal.
The cost of the transplant amounted to $31,000 and was covered through charitable contributions to support Womb Transplant UK.