The country's first uterus transplant failed, less than two weeks after the Cleveland Clinic announced the medical major medical breakthrough that it hoped would allow women with certain fertility issues to biologically carry children.
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"We are saddened to share that our patient, Lindsey, recently experienced a sudden complication that led to the removal of her transplanted uterus," the Cleveland Clinic said in a statement Tuesday. Only a day earlier, on Monday, the hospital held a news conference discussing the transplant, which at the time they believed had been successful.
News of the failed transplant was first reported bv the New York Times. The hospital did not release information about the circumstances of the complication, saying they were under review and that more information would be released when it became available.
The clinic said in a statement that it took all necessary precautions and measures to ensure the safety of the 26-year-old patient, whose last name has not been disclosed to protect her privacy, and that the Texas woman was doing well.
"I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude towards all of my doctors," Lindsey said in a statement. "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."
The transplant was part of a clinical trial that is aimed at helping women who have uterine factor infertility, a condition in which absence of or abnormalities with the uterus affect a woman's ability to conceive and carry a pregnancy successfully. Those affected include women who were born without a uterus, had congenital issues or had the uterus removed due to a medical condition, such as cervical cancer. About 3 percent to 5 percent of women worldwide have uterine factor infertility, the Cleveland Clinic estimates.
The procedure was only the beginning of a long medical process that would involve subsequent in vitro fertilization. So far, the only successful uterus transplants that have resulted in live births have occurred in Sweden, despite attempts in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
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