Brazilian doctors are reporting the world’s first baby born to a woman with a uterus transplanted from a deceased donor was a resounding success, with mum and bub both remaining healthy one year later.
Eleven previous births have used a transplanted womb but from a living donor, usually a relative or friend.
Experts said using uteruses from women who have died could make more transplants possible.
Ten previous attempts using deceased donors in the Czech Republic, Turkey and the US have failed.
The baby girl was delivered last December by a woman born without a uterus because of a rare syndrome.
The woman, a 32-year-old psychologist, was initially apprehensive about the transplant, said Dr Dani Ejzenberg, the transplant team’s lead doctor at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine.
“This was the most important thing in her life. Now she comes in to show us the baby and she is so happy,” he said.
How woman born without a uterus gave birth
The woman became pregnant through in vitro fertilisation seven months after the transplant.
The donor was a 45-year-old woman who had three children and died of a stroke.
The recipient, who was not identified, gave birth by cesarean section.
Doctors also removed the womb, partly so the woman would no longer have to take anti-rejection medicines.
Nearly a year later, mother and baby are both healthy.
Two more transplants are planned as part of the Brazilian study.
Details of the first case were published Tuesday in the medical journal Lancet.
Uterus transplantation was pioneered by Swedish doctor Mats Brannstrom, who has delivered eight children from women who received wombs from family members or friends.
In 2016, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio, transplanted a uterus from a deceased donor, but it failed after an infection developed.