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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

First Uterus Transplant in the U.S. Has Failed

(CN) - The first attempt to perform a uterus transplant in the United States has failed and doctors have removed the organ, officials from the Cleveland Clinic said.

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic transplanted the uterus, from a woman in her 30s who died suddenly, on Feb. 24. The recipient, a 26-year-old woman named Lindsey, was born without a uterus and was the first of 10 uterine transplants planned by the clinic.

Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil said a significant complication forced doctors to surgically remove the organ on Tuesday, but did not specify what had gone wrong. She said the uterus is currently being analyzed by pathologists.

"There is a known risk in solid-organ transplantation that the transplanted organ may have to be removed should a complication arise," the clinic said in a statement. "The medical team took all necessary precautions and measures to ensure the safety of our patient."

The clinic added the program will continue, and that it is committed to advancing medical research to "provide an additional option for women and their families."

Doctors in Sweden have attempted nine uterus transplants, which led to five births. Two of the transplants failed during the first year and had to be removed, however.

News of the organ's failure came one day after the clinic held a press conference saying the transplantation appeared to have been successful. Lindsay made an appearance at the Monday press conference.

After removing the organ on Tuesday, the clinic said, "While this has been difficult for both the patient and the medical team, Lindsey is doing well and recovering."

In a statement, Lindsay said she was "doing okay" and thanked her doctors.

"I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude towards all of my doctors," Lindsay said. "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."

Doctors said a transplant can fail for a number of reasons, including rejection by the patient's immune system, an infection or a problem with the veins and arteries connected to the organ.

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