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The first uterine transplant in Australia occurred this week as Kirsty Bryant received her mother’s uterus following an eleven-hour surgery. Michelle Hayton, Kirsty’s mother and doner, says she was happy to donate her uterus as it will allow her daughter to have more children.
Two years ago, Kirsty gave birth to her daughter Violent, but there were complications with the birth. These complications resulted in Kirsty needing an emergency hysterectomy after the birth which meant she wouldn’t be able to have any more children.
However, that has now all changed thanks to the uterine transplant. These procedures are very rare all over the world and it wasn’t until 2014 that a successful birth came from a transplanted uterus. It wasn’t until 2017 that any successful procedures took place in the United States.
The procedures are usually deemed a last resort due to the potential risks and ethical issues involved. They are also only ever meant to be temporary solutions, with the recipient typically having a hysterectomy of their own shortly after giving birth.
Trusting a specialist
The surgeon that completed the transplant for Kirsty and her mother was Professor Mats Brannstrom. He was the man responsible for the first successful transplant in 2014 and he has since performed the procedure on another mother and daughter in Sweden. Speaking about the transplant, he said:
“There are small vessels going out, and we try to isolate those. The problem is that there is a ureter on each side. And the ureter goes from the kidney to the bladder, and we cannot injure that.”
With the transplant now complete, Kirsty is hopeful that she will be able to carry another child. The immediate focus for both women is now on recovery but in a few months, Kirsty will be able to find out if she can have another child or not. If the news is positive then she has six embryos ready and waiting for transfer. Kirsty said:
“I am going to potentially, all fingers and toes crossed, carry a baby in the same uterus, in the same womb I was grown in. It will hopefully be a great story to tell my baby one day.
Even if it doesn’t go to plan, the research and the information they will get from this, in Australia, is going to be worth it. I just want to give hope and options to other women out there.”
A landmark day for Australian fertility treatment
The day will long be remembered by those involved as it could change the way fertility treatment is administered in Australia. Dr. Rebecca Deans, the trial’s lead surgeon, has spoken of her delight with how the surgeries went:
“It was such a wonderful day to actually find get there and be in that room. The buzz was amazing and it all went to plan – Kirsty’s doing beautifully.
Personally, and professionally, it was just incredible, and I think everyone felt the same. There were so many components to the team – the nursing staff, the anesthetics, and everyone’s saying that they feel the same way. They all feel like it was one of those moments you’ll reflect on professionally and never forget.”
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