Europe

Mother-to-daughter womb transplant 'success' in Sweden

  • 18 September 2012
  • From the section Europe
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File photo from 2010 of a woman eight months into her pregnancy
Doctors say the operations will only be considered a complete success if they result in children

Two Swedish women could be able to give birth using the wombs in which they were carried, doctors say, hailing the world's first mother-to-daughter uterus transplants.

The weekend procedures were completed by more than 10 surgeons at Sweden's University of Gothenburg.

The names of the patients have not been revealed.

Doctors caution they will not consider the operations successful unless the women achieve pregnancy.

"We are not going to call it a complete success until this results in children," said Michael Olausson, one of the Swedish surgeons told The Associated Press.

"That's the best proof."

Both women started in-vitro fertilisation before the surgery, he said, adding that their frozen embryos will be thawed and transferred if the women are considered in good enough health after a year-long observation period.

Up and walking

Both recipients, who are aged in their 30s, were tired after the surgery but recovering well, said the university in a statement.

One had her uterus removed due to cervical cancer and the other was born without a uterus, they added

"The donating mothers are up and walking and will be discharged from the hospital within a few days," said Mats Brannstrom, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the university.

He is the leader of a research team - comprising 20 scientists, doctors and specialists - which has been working on the project since 1999.

Turkish doctors said they had performed a successful uterus transplant last year, giving a womb from a deceased donor to a young woman, but Dr Olausson said he was not sure whether the recipient had yet started undergoing fertility treatment.

The first widely reported womb transplant from a live donor was performed in 2000, in Saudi Arabia, but the organ had to be removed three months later because of a blood clot.

Last year, 56-year-old Eva Ottoson, who lives in Nottinghamshire, said she hoped to become the first woman to have her womb transplanted into her daughter, Sara, 25, who lives in Sweden and was born without reproductive organs.

It remains unknown whether they were involved in the weekend's procedures.

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