First uterus transplant in U.S. fails

Mar 09, 2016, 7:09 PM EST
Uterus embroidery art. (Source: Hey Paul Studios/flickr)
Uterus embroidery art. (Source: Hey Paul Studios/flickr)

The excitement in the medical community over the last week collapsed after the first uterus transplanted into a patient in the U.S. had to be removed because of complications. The New York Times reports:

The first uterus transplant in the United States failed, and the organ was surgically removed on Tuesday, officials at the Cleveland Clinic said on Wednesday.
The recipient, a 26-year-old woman, suddenly developed a serious complication on Tuesday, according to Eileen Sheil, a spokeswoman for the clinic. She did not specify the nature of the complication but said the uterus was being analyzed by pathologists to determine what went wrong.
The transplant was the first of 10 planned by the clinic, in an experimental program meant to enable women without a uterus to become pregnant and give birth. In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the clinic said it would continue with that effort.
"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.
The circumstance of the complication is under review. The clinic said that Lindsey, whose last name was not provided, was doing well and recovering.
"I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude towards all of my doctors. They acted very quickly to ensure my health and safety. Unfortunately, I did lose the uterus to complications. However, I am doing okay and appreciate all of your prayers and good thoughts," she said in a statement.
Lindsey told Monday's news conference she had been told at age 16 she could not have a biological child. She said she and her husband had adopted three boys, but she wanted to try the operation to see if she could become pregnant.