Woman receives sister’s womb in first womb transplant in United Kingdom

Surgeons have carried out the first womb transplant in the United Kingdom, reports the BBC. “The recipient was a 34-year-old woman, and the donor her 40-year-old sister.” The recipient “has several embryos in storage, waiting to be” implanted. “A team of more than 30 carried out the procedures, lasting around 17 hours.”

The recipient’s “sister already had two children and had completed her family.” Dr. Richard Smith has spent 25 years researching womb transplantation. He said the transplant was a “massive success.”

Transplant surgeon Isabel Quiroga, who led the team implanting the womb, said the recipient was delighted: “She was absolutely over the moon, very happy, and is hoping that she can go on to have not one but two babies. Her womb is functioning perfectly and we are monitoring her progress very closely.” The BBC says that

The woman had her first period two weeks after the surgery. Like other transplant patients, she needs to take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent tissue rejection. These carry some long-term health risks, so the uterus will be removed after a maximum of two pregnancies.

She was born with a rare condition, Type 1 Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) where the uterus is absent or underdeveloped, but has functioning ovaries. Prior to surgery she had fertility treatment with her husband, and they have eight embryos in storage….The NHS costs, estimated at £25,000, were paid for by the charity Womb Transplant UK. More than 30 staff involved on the day gave their time for free.

Medicine is advancing in other ways as well.

Artificial intelligence is now developing highly-effective antibodies to fight disease. Doctors are using artificial intelligence to detect cases of breast cancer more effectively in Hungary, enabling them to remove such cancers before they can metastasize and kill women.

Robotics is fueling other life-saving innovations. Doctors recently did the first robotic liver transplant in America. Robots can fit in small spaces in people’s bodies that a surgeon can’t reach without cutting through living tissue, or doing other collateral damage.

Scientists recently developed a treatment for alcoholism that reduces drinking by 90% among the lab monkeys it was tested on. Scientists recently came up with a substance that whitens teeth and also kills 94% of bacteria.

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