First uterus transplant in U.S. performed

Mar 07, 2016, 5:44 PM EST
Source: Servier Medical Art/flickr
Source: Servier Medical Art/flickr
Doctors at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio have performed the U.S.’s first uterus transplant on a 26 year-old woman who was born without a uterus. She is recovering, and hoping to get pregnant next year. Reuters reports:
"I was told at 16 I would never have children. From that moment on I prayed that God would allow me the opportunity to experience pregnancy," said Lindsey, who did not give her last name to protect the privacy of her three adopted sons.
Lindsey, who was born without a uterus and received a womb from a deceased donor in her 30s, read a brief statement to reporters at a news conference. She was in a wheelchair and is still staying at the hospital for monitoring.
The transplant, done in a nine-hour surgery on Feb. 24, was the first of 10 uterine transplants planned as part of a clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic, which has screened 250 potential recipients.
"We anticipate she'll be here for a month or two ... then she should be able to have a normal life," said Dr. Andreas Tzakis, director of the Cleveland Clinic transplant program and the lead investigator of the uterus transplant clinical trial there.
Lindsey's normal life will include taking anti-rejection medication and returning to Cleveland for monthly checkups until she is ready to become pregnant.
The hospital has screened more than 250 women to identify 10 who qualify for the experimental procedure. These women were either born without a uterus, had their uterus removed, or have uterine abnormalities that block pregnancy, but still have healthy ovaries and the ability to produce eggs. Using those eggs, doctors freeze six to 10 embryos before the woman undergoes the transplant.