The operation took place at the Cleveland Clinic by a surgical team whose leader was Dr. Andreas G. Tzakis, and took nine hours, using a uterus from a deceased organ donor.
The procedure’s purpose is to enable women born without a uterus, or who had theirs removed, to become pregnant and give birth. However, the patient will have to wait a year before trying to become pregnant, as she must heal.
In the meantime, the doctors will adjust the doses of medication she needs to prevent organ rejection. The patient will also need in vitro fertilization to become pregnant. Before the transplant, the patient had eggs removed surgically, fertilized with her husband’s sperm and frozen. The embryos will be transferred into her uterus.
The transplant will be temporary, as after the woman has had one or two babies, the uterus will be removed so that the patient can stop taking anti-rejection drugs.
The Cleveland hospital’s ethics panel has given permission to perform the procedure 10 times, as an experiment and officials will then decide whether to continue, and whether to offer the operation as a standard procedure.