WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The nation’s first uterus transplant has failed, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
A 26-year-old woman named Lindsey received the transplant on Feb. 24 and had appeared to be recovering well, even appearing briefly at a news conference on Monday. But according to a hospital statement Wednesday, she experienced a sudden complication.
Doctors surgically removed the organ on Tuesday.
“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.
“On February 25, Cleveland Clinic announced the first uterus transplant as part of a clinical study for women who suffer from uterine factor infertility. At this time, the circumstance of the complication is under review and more information will be shared as it becomes available. There is a known risk in solid organ transplantation that the transplanted organ may have to be removed should a complication arise. The medical team took all necessary precautions and measures to ensure the safety of our patient.”
The hospital is exploring what went wrong, but said its clinical trial that aims to do 10 uterus transplants is continuing.
“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.”
Other countries have attempted uterus transplants, with some reported failures, although Sweden has succeeded in five healthy births.
The experimental treatment might eventually offer an option for women born without a uterus or who lost it to disease.
“While this has been difficult for both the patient and the medical team, Lindsey is doing well and recovering,” said a Cleveland Clinic spokesman.