I have heard of liver, kidney and heart transplants, but never a womb.
The journal Obstetrics and Gynecology reports that current organ donor networks appear able to supply human wombs, or uteruses, for transplantation as a possible approach to treating infertility.
Dr. Giuseppe Del Priore of New York Downtown Hospital and colleagues came to this conclusion after participating in a local organ donor network retrieval team for over 6 months.
Approximately 1,800 heart-beating, but brain-dead, organ donors were identified through an existing donor network. The removal of several organs took place in about 150 of the donors and 9 had specifically consented to donate their uterus.
The uterus was removed without complications in eight donors. Tissue testing suggested that the organs were, in fact, suitable for transplantation.
The researchers point out that the transplant of organs that are not needed to preserve life raises ethical issues. Thus far, the only human uterine transplant that has been performed was “controversial and unsuccessful.”