LivingFirst uterus transplant in Spain thanks to a live...

First uterus transplant in Spain thanks to a live donation from one sister to another

Advances in assisted reproduction allow more and more women to see their desire to be mothers fulfilled. But there is no treatment that allows conceiving without a uterus, a reality for 2,300 women in Spain.

The only viable alternative for them is a uterus transplant, a type of surgery has already been tried successfully on at least 67 occasions around the world and 20 healthy children are the result of these interventions. The first birth took place in 2014 in Sweden at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital of the University of Gothenburg.

Now it is the turn of our country. The Hospital Clínic de Barcelona has carried out the first uterus transplant from a living donor in Spain. It happened on October 5, and it was a donation from a woman to her little sister with Rokitansky syndrome or, in other words, she was born without a uterus or fallopian tubes, a congenital disorder of the female reproductive system that affects 1 of every 5,000 women in the world.

The transplanted uterus is already functional

She was born without a uterus and wanted to be a biological mother, while her older sister had already had children and did not want more, so she decided to donate the uterus to the little one. They have made possible the first transplant of this organ to be performed in Spain and southern Europe.

This process, which began five years ago, is part of the research project ‘Feasibility study of a living donor uterine transplant procedure with robotic graft obtaining’ with the aim of validating the viability of this surgery.

Dr. Antonio Alcaraz, head of the Urology and Kidney Transplant Service at Hospital Clínic, explains the great complexity of this process, especially in what has to do with the extraction of the donor’s uterus:

“It is a complex organ with poor vascularization of the arteries and a large network of veins from which the largest must be sought to drain the blood that reaches the uterus.”

To this must be added the long process that follows the transplant, until it is viable. This is stated by Dr. Francisco Carmona, head of the Gynecology Service, who was the one who led the entire process:

“Success is determined by the viability of the organ, that it works and that the woman becomes pregnant.”

And it is that the uterus transplant is divided into two phases: the extraction of the uterus carried out by robotic surgery, to be as less invasive as possible, and its implantation with open surgery. In total, about 16 hours of surgery .

Fortunately, it seems that it has been a success: two months after the surgery, the uterus has already demonstrated its functionality, as the woman has had her first period . It will take a few months for an embryo of the 11 previously fertilized in vitro to be implanted.

They explain from the Hospital Clinic that if the woman becomes pregnant, she will take immunosuppressive drugs from delivery until a second pregnancy. Once you have completed your desire to be a mother and no longer want more children, your uterus will be removed by laparoscopy.

Via | Hospital Clinic

Photos | iStock

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