The first U.S. attempt to transplant a uterus has not been successful. The Cleveland Clinic said that the 26-year-old patient, identified as Lindsey, who received the uterus from a deceased donor in a nine-hour operation, had to have the organ removed because of a complication.
“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.
In a statement, Lindsey and her husband, Blake, expressed gratitude towards the doctors. “They acted very quickly to ensure my health and safety,” they said. “Unfortunately I did lose the uterus to complications. However, I am doing okay and appreciate all of your prayers and good thoughts.”
NBC News reports that Lindsey said she was told when she was 16 that she would not be able to carry a child. She and Blake had adopted three kids, but she said she wanted to try to get pregnant.
“At this time, the circumstance of the complication is under review and more information will be shared as it becomes available,” the clinic said. At present, the complication is being assessed. Lindsey, the clinic said, was recovering.
Women suffering from Uterine Factor Infertility – women born without a uterus or have lost theirs – are not able to get pregnant. The condition affects roughly 3 to 5 percent of women worldwide.
CNN reports that a team of doctors at the University of Gothenburg have conducted nine transplants. The transplants, all of which involved living donors, resulted in five pregnancies that further resulted in four live births. Two of these transplants were unsuccessful. However, surgeons have expressed that the operation is tricky. Once the patients have a kid or two, the uterus is generally removed due to risks of rejection surface.
“There is a known risk in solid organ transplantation that the transplanted organ may have to be removed should a complication arise. The medical team took all necessary precautions and measures to ensure the safety of our patient,” the clinic said. “The study, which has been planned to include 10 women, is still ongoing with a commitment to the advancement of medical research to provide an additional option for women and their families.”