Objective: To determine if a uterus can be retrieved for reproductive organ transplantation and to describe the surgical technique.
Methods: We participated in a local organ donor network retrieval team for over 6 months. Heart-beating, brain-dead multi-organ donors were identified through an existing donor network following routine protocols.
Results: After institutional review board and organ donor network approval of the uterus transplantation project, approximately 1,800 eligible organ donors were identified as required by legislation. Multi-organ procurement surgery took place in approximate 150 of these, with nine specifically consented for the uterus retrieval. Regularly performed multi-organ transplantation retrievals included the uterus without complications in eight donors. Pedicles used included the ovarian, uterine, or internal iliac vessels. After retrieval, serial histology sections throughout the period of cold ischemia, taken every 15-30 minutes, showed no signs of change over 12 hours of cold ischemia.
Conclusion: The human uterus can be obtained from local organ donor networks using existing protocols.
Level of evidence: III.