Woman Who Had 1st US Uterus Transplant Loses Organ
Doctors at Cleveland Clinic aren't yet revealing what went wrong, but stress that procedure does have risks
By Steven Reinberg
WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The first U.S. woman to receive a transplanted uterus has had the implanted organ removed due to an unnamed "sudden complication," her doctors at the Cleveland Clinic announced Wednesday.
"At this time, the circumstance of the complication is under review and more information will be shared as it becomes available," the hospital said in a statement.
"There is a known risk in solid organ transplantation that the transplanted organ may have to be removed should a complication arise," the clinic added. "The medical team took all necessary precautions and measures to ensure the safety of our patient."
The patient is a 26-year-old woman, identified only as Lindsey. Along with her husband Blake, she has adopted three children, but always longed to give birth to her own child.
"At 16, I was told I would never have children. From that moment on," she said in a news conference held Monday, "I prayed that God would allow me the opportunity to experience pregnancy."
Unfortunately, the loss of the implanted organ has set back that dream, Lindsey said in a statement issued Wednesday.
"I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude towards all of my doctors," she said. "They acted very quickly to ensure my health and safety. Unfortunately, I did lose the uterus to complications. However, I am doing OK and appreciate all of your prayers and good thoughts."
The transplant surgery took place Feb. 24 and the Cleveland Clinic doctors who performed it said they plan more of the procedures as part of a research study. The uteruses will come from deceased organ donors. In Lindsey's case, the uterus came from a woman in her 30s who died suddenly.
"The study, which has been planned to include 10 women, is still ongoing with a commitment to the advancement of medical research to provide an additional option for women and their families," the Cleveland Clinic said on Wednesday.
Speaking at the Monday press briefing, Lindsey's doctors stressed that any pregnancy involving the transplant couldn't have been attempted for at least one year.