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Nation's 1st successful uterus transplant performed in Xi'an

By Ma Lie in Xi'an (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-27 07:51

Chinese doctors recently achieved the country's first successful uterus transplant to help a woman born without a uterus to realize her dream of giving birth.

The operation was performed on Nov 20 by 38 experts from 11 medical departments in Xijing Hospital in Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province.

The hospital said on Thursday that the patient and donor were recovering well.

Yang Hua (not her real name), 22, a resident of Ankang, Shaanxi, was diagnosed at the hospital in 2013 as having been born without a uterus or vagina.

"I felt so desperate after the incredible diagnosis, but I saw a glimmer of hope when doctors told me that I could still have my own baby by receiving a transplanted uterus," the woman said.

Yang's 43-year-old mother, after learning from doctors that she could help her daughter, decided to donate her uterus.

"In order to let my daughter have a perfect life, I am willing to even donate my life," the mother said.

Fortunately, the human leukocyte antigen of mother and daughter matched, which was necessary for a transplant.

While waiting for the transplant, Yang got married, and her husband fully supported her having the operation.

Uterus transplantation is highly difficult because the uterus is located deep in the pelvis and its fine blood vessels are very difficult to cut and suture during an operation, said Chen Biliang, the hospital's director of obstetrics and gynecology. Additionally, rejection of a transplanted uterus is more intense than for other organs, Chen said.

This was the first successful transplant for China and the 12th in the world, Chen said. The operation lasted for 14 hours, and doctors had robotic assistance.


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