First Successful Uterus Transplant Performed in the U.S.

The unidentified patient is in stable condition after the nine-hour surgery

Photo: Ken Baehr/Courtesy Cleveland Clinic Center for Medical Art and Photography

A team of surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic successfully performed the nation’s first uterus transplant during a nine-hour surgery on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old patient – whose identity is not being released at this time – was in stable condition Thursday afternoon. The uterus she received came from a deceased organ donor.

Cleveland Clinic began searching for candidates for uterus transplants at the end of 2015 – the efforts were part of a clinical trial approved by the institution’s review board. Its research team, which includes transplant specialists, obstetricians and gynecologists, bioethicists, psychiatrists, nurses and social workers, continues to screen transplant candidates with Uterine Factor Infertility, a condition that affects three to five percent of women across the world.

Women with UFI are unable to carry a pregnancy, either due to being born without a uterus or having a uterus that cannot function in those terms.

Previously, the procedure has been successfully performed in Sweden, which has resulted in five pregnancies and four live births with the first child via a uterus transplant being born in 2014.

However, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic took a different approach – using organs from deceased women rather than live donors (which has been Sweden’s approach).

The team behind the transplant will answer further questions and provide updates on the patient’s condition at a press conference to be scheduled next week.

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