Surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic had to remove the transplanted uterus of a 26-year-old woman who was the first patient in a groundbreaking U.S.-based study aimed at achieving pregnancy in women with uterine factor infertility.

Removal of the uterus, which was announced March 9, came after the patient experienced a sudden complication. The study was originally slated to include 10 women and is still ongoing, according to a statement from the Cleveland Clinic.

“At this time, the circumstance of the complication is under review and more information will be shared as it becomes available,” according to a statement . “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.”

On Feb. 24, a transplant team at the Cleveland Clinic made history by performing the first uterus transplant in the United States. Prior to that, there had been nine successful uterus transplants performed at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, with the first posttransplant baby born in 2014.

The Cleveland Clinic transplant recipient, known as “Lindsey” to protect her privacy, was selected from more than 250 applicants to undergo the 9-hour procedure involving transplantation of a uterus from a deceased organ donor of reproductive age.

If the transplant had been a successful, Lindsey was set to undergo a year of antirejection treatment followed by in vitro fertilization. Under the study protocol, the uterus transplant would be temporary and the uterus would be removed after a patient had delivered one or two babies.

Officials at the Cleveland Clinic said Lindsey was doing well and recovering after the removal of the transplanted uterus.

“I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude toward all of my doctors,” Lindsey and her husband 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.”

mschneider@frontlinemedcom.com

On Twitter @maryellenny

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