Department of Uterine Transplant
Women with severe infertility or Absolute Uterine Factor Infertility (AUFI) that hinders their childbearing capacity may benefit from a uterus transplant surgery. Uterus transplant is the surgical replacement of the current uterus of a woman with that of a donated one. It may be considered the last option for the treatment of AUFI and reproductive conditions such as endometriosis, congenital conditions like the absence of a uterus, and developmental conditions such as being born with an underdeveloped uterus.
Uterus transplantation is a revolutionary procedure which offers a life-changing opportunity to a woman with various infertility factors to bear a child. Gleneagles Hospital offers to bring this joy of childbearing to women through the uterus transplantation program.
Uterus Transplantation Process
Before the uterus transplant surgery, both the donor (living) and the recipient are thoroughly evaluated to determine their pelvic anatomy and the state of the current vasculature to avoid anatomical complications. The recipient may be given fertility drugs for harvesting her eggs and fertilising outside the body. The fertilised egg may be later frozen and then transferred to the womb when the recipient is ready for pregnancy.
During the surgery, the womb and cervix of the donor are removed and implanted in the recipient. The transplanted uterus is well taken care of by experienced gynecologic surgeons of Gleneagles Hospitals, who connect it with the blood vessels, muscles, tendons, cartilage, and other connectors with utmost care and precision to ensure that the uterus functions properly. If the uterus has been taken from a living donor, all-inclusive care is taken to ensure that they are also taken care of and rehabilitated properly.
Following the surgery, both the recipient and the living donor are kept in the intensive care unit for constant monitoring of health. Pain management and rehabilitation is provided along with administration of immunosuppressant drugs. The patients may be monitored to prevent any infection and manage pain levels.
Pregnancy After Uterus Transplant
After the recipient recovers from the uterus transplant surgery, the embryo transfer is done in hopes of a successful implantation and pregnancy. Since the recipient would be on immunosuppressants, it may be considered a high-risk pregnancy, and they may be monitored closely for the health of both the mother and the baby. After the delivery of a baby, the transplanted uterus may be either removed or retained for a second pregnancy if all goes well for both the mother and child.
Eligibility for Uterus Transplantation
Any woman of childbearing age (20-40 years) who has been medically diagnosed to have an absolute uterine factor infertility (AUFI) or has a non-functional uterus is a potential candidate for a uterus transplant procedure. AUFI is a term used to describe any reason why a woman is unable to get pregnant. AUFI may occur due to several reasons:
- Congenital conditions: Absence of uterus, duplication of uterine structures, lack of fully formed reproductive organs, a single uterus divided into two parts, or two uteri sharing a single cervix.
- Developmental conditions: Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser syndrome, born without a uterus or with an underdeveloped uterus.
- Chronic Reproductive problems: Endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), ovarian and/or uterine cysts, uterine adhesions, or uterine fibroids.
A woman of childbearing age may be eligible for uterus transplant surgery if she:
- Does not smoke
- Has a healthy weight
- Has no history of Hepatitis B or C or HIV
- Has no history of diabetes or severe kidney disease
- Does not have a history of cancer for at least 5 years before surgery
- Is able to take immunosuppressant medications
Uterus Transplant Donor Eligibility
Uterus for transplant can be taken from a living or deceased donor, depending on the availability. A donor uterus is thoroughly screened for polyps, fibroids, infections, systemic illness, infertility, working conditions of blood vessels, and adhesions. Ideally, the donor's uterus may be matched to the blood type of the recipient. The eligibility requirements for a woman to donate their uterus include:-
- Aged between 30 and 50 years old
- Of healthy weight
- Cancer-free for five years
- No history of HIV and hepatitis B or C
- No history of hypertension or diabetes
Uterus Transplantation Surgery at Gleneagles Hospitals
Gleneagles Hospital is a pioneer in the field of complex and innovative gynaecological surgeries, offering optimal healthcare services for a range of medical concerns, including uterus transplant surgery. We understand the feelings of cherishing the moments of pregnancy and childbirth. Our team of gynaecology specialists and surgeons strive to provide best-in-class treatment for the management of reproductive health problems. Our team of specialists includes fertility experts, maternal and foetal care experts, nutritionists, and therapists to provide humane care with compassion at every step of the way towards the journey of parenthood.
- How long do you have to wait to get pregnant after uterus transplant surgery?
Once the recipient recovers from the uterus transplant surgery, it may be possible for her to become pregnant.
- Is it possible to get pregnant naturally after getting a uterus transplanted?
No, it may not be possible to get pregnant naturally after uterus transplant surgery, as the uterus may not be connected to the fallopian tubes, connecting the uterus to the ovaries.
- Will the transplanted uterus remain even after delivery?
The uterus may be removed after the delivery of a baby.
- What are the risks of uterus transplant surgery?
The risks of the uterine transplant surgery may include:
- Injury to nerves, blood vessels, bowel, bladder or ureters,
- Uterine transplant rejection.
There may also be some side effects from immunosuppressive medications, including diabetes and renal damage, with long-term use. Additional risks following a successful transplant may include maternal and perinatal risks of a subsequent pregnancy.
- How long does it take for a living donor to recover?
Uterus donors can recover in a month after uterus transplant surgery with the help of medical advice from their concerned doctors.
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