When you think of organ transplants, kidneys and livers are probably the first things that come to mind. In New York, the uterus is what a few doctors are hoping to transplant. While this may seem like an outrageous idea, it is not original. Saudi Arabian doctors attempted it in 2002 and partially succeeded. Unfortunately, the uterus had to be removed because of deterioration a few months later.
The team of U.S. doctors think they can avoid the complications suffered in Saudi Arabia simply by the use of anti-coagulant drugs. Transplanting more blood vessels with the uterus may also reduce complications.
According to reports, a transplant candidate would receive a uterus from a dead donor. She would begin taking anti-rejection drugs immediately to ensure her body does not reject the new uterus. Pregnancy would be accomplished through in vitro fertilization. A c-section would be performed and the uterus would also be removed. If the uterus was to stay in the body for life, the patient would need to continue taking anti-rejection drugs, which could pose a health risk for the mother.
What This Means for Women Who Have Had a Hysterectomy
Unfortunately, uterus transplants are far from becoming routine. Years and years of research and trials need to be done before uterus transplants can be given to women outside of a research setting. It is remarkable medical news that may eventually help women who have had to undergo hysterectomies because of conditions like cancer in the future. Read more about uterine transplants.