In a procedure that involved more than 10 surgeons, and training that lasted over several years, two Swedish women were successfully implanted with donated uteruses. But if that wasn't an amazing accomplishment unto itself, what makes this even more incredible is that the uteruses were donated by the women's mothers. So, assuming the procedure worked, these women might someday be able to give birth using the wombs in which they themselves were carried in.
The operation was conducted at Sweden's University of Gothenburg, where the doctors are cautious about declaring it an outright success. Speaking to the Associated Press, surgeon Michael Olausson said, ""We are not going to call it a complete success until this results in children — that's the best proof." According to their release, the surgery resulted in no complications, and the donating mothers are up and walking.
The women who received the transplants are also doing well. The first patient had her uterus removed in 1998 because of surgery for cervical cancer, while the second patient was born without a uterus. Prior to the procedure, each woman, both of whom are in their 30s, underwent IVF-treatments.
The entire project took no less than ten years to unfold — and the doctors are hoping that all this work will go to good use. In Sweden alone, there are between 2,000 to 3,000 women of childbearing age who lack a uterus.
Top image via Shutterstock/Jakub Pavlinec.