Woman Receives First-Ever Uterine Transplant, Needs Emergency Removal
The patient, known only as Lindsey, underwent the groundbreaking surgery at The Cleveland Clinic on February 24. She had received the organ from a deceased donor and seemed to be responding positively to the procedure.
However, in the early stages of the healing process (which was expected to take up to a year), Lindsey developed an undisclosed complication. In a press release dated March 9, the clinic announced,
We are saddened to share that our patient, Lindsey, recently experienced a sudden complication that led to the removal of her transplanted uterus. At this time, the circumstance of the complication is under review and more information will be shared as it becomes available.
As explained in the press release, it is standard procedure to remove the foreign material — the donated organ(s) — if complications develop after a transplant.
Emergency organ removal is a "known risk" in any transplant procedure, according to the release, and the surgeons "took all of the necessary precautions" to safeguard their patient's health.
Lindsey, who is currently recovering from the emergency procedure, also issued a statement on Wednesday. She said,
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 due to complications. However, I am doing okay and appreciate all of your prayers and good thoughts.
Though the surgery, ultimately, did not succeed, The Cleveland Clinic confirms it will continue its research in the hopes of “provid[ing] an addition option” to women who cannot conceive on their own.