U.S. uterus transplant fails

Two weeks ago, surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic announced they had performed the first uterus transplant in U.S.

Today, they announced the transplant has failed.

A team of transplant surgeons and gynecological surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic performed the transplant during a nine-hour surgery Feb. 24.

The recipient – a 26-year-old woman known only as Lindsey – experienced a sudden complication that led to the removal of the transplanted uterus, the Cleveland Clinic announced.

The circumstance of the complication is under review, according to the clinic.

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

Lindsey is doing well and recovering.

“I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude towards all of my doctors. 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,” she said in the statement.

This was the first transplant in a clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic. Researchers want to transplant uteruses from deceased donors into 10 women with uterine factor infertility, which affects 3 to 5 percent of women worldwide. These are women who were either born without a uterus or suffered irreversible uterine damage.

“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,” according to the clinic statement.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at marissa.harshman@columbian.com or 360-735-4546.

Scroll to top