Transplanted Uterus Removed From Cleveland Clinic Patient


March 09, 2016

The woman who received the nation's first transplanted uterus on February 24 at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio had to have the organ removed because of a "sudden complication," the clinic announced today.

The transplant recipient, a 26-year-old woman identified only as Lindsey, "is doing well and recovering," according to a Cleveland Clinic news release.

The clinic did not describe the circumstances of the complication other than to say it was under review, and that more information would be shared as it became available.

"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. "The medical team took all necessary precautions and measures to ensure the safety of our patient."

The clinic's news release included a statement attributed to Lindsey speaking on behalf of herself and her husband, Blake.

"I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude towards all of my doctors," Lindsey was quoted as saying. "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."

Transplant recipient "Lindsey" with her team of physicians on March 7. (Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic/Twitter.)

Patient Had Looked Forward to Becoming Pregnant

Lindsey, who reportedly was born without an uterus, had said after her 9-hour transplant operation that she looked forward to becoming pregnant through in vitro fertilization sometime in 2017.

Her transplanted uterus came from a healthy woman in her thirties who had previously given birth and died suddenly.

Lindsey was part of an uterus implant trial at the Cleveland Clinic that focuses on uterine factor fertility, which applies to women who were born without a uterus, who have lost their uterus, or who have a uterus that no longer functions. Before the announcement about the removal of Lindsey's transplanted uterus, the clinic had said that one other woman in the study was ready to receive a new uterus, and several others were close to that point.

The Cleveland Clinic said today that the study, planned for 10 women, "is still ongoing with a commitment to the advancement of medical research to provide an additional option for women and their families."


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