Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, which was the U.S. clinic to perform the nation’s first uterus transplant, said Wednesday that they had to remove the organ from the recipient due to complications.
Surprisingly, the news came just a couple of days after Lindsey, the 26-year-old infertile woman who underwent the pioneering procedure, thanked doctors and expressed her hopes for a ‘miracle’ child in a brief press conference.
Surgeons said Wednesday that the woman had a sudden complication, so they had to remove the organ 13 days following the initial procedure. The team declined to provide more details on the complications or the recipient’s condition.
Reportedly, Lindsey recently said that medics ensured her health and safety, and she praised them for acting ‘very quickly.’ She also said that she was alright and thanked her supporters for the good thoughts and prayers.
On Monday, Lindsey appeared in a wheelchair along with her husband to thank her doctors. During the brief statement, she told reporters that she was ‘so grateful’ for the opportunity to have a biological baby.
Lindsey has adopted three ‘beautiful little boys’ but her greatest wish was to experience pregnancy ever since she learned she was infertile when she was 16. She confessed that she prayed to God for the opportunity.
The woman also thanked the family of the donor that gave her the organ, which she called “a gift she could never repay.”
The clinic had in plan 10 uterus transplants during a clinical trial. Lindsey’s was the first in the series. Swedish doctors were the first in the world to perform the procedure and have a successful birth. In Sweden, out of nine transplants, five were followed by a live birth.
Previous attempts, however, have failed. One in Saudi Arabia had to be terminated three months after the procedure due to blood clots, while another one in Turkey allowed the recipient conceive but the baby was aborted because doctors couldn’t detect any heart beat at eight weeks.
Doctors explained that transplant recipients should wait a year after the procedure before the IVF procedure. After two successful births, the uterus is removed from the mother to prevent her from taking drugs that trick her immune system into accepting the foreign organ as its own for the rest of her life.
Dr Andreas Tzakis, head of the new program at the Cleveland Clinic and leader of the Swedish team that had performed the world’s first successful uterus transplant, said at the Monday‘s press conference that the clinical trial was only beginning.
He explained that uterus transplants are more complex than other similar procedures because they need to result in successful births which can take at least a couple of years.
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