Purpose: To evaluate the technical feasibility of performing a uterine autotransplantation in the nonhuman primate while preserving the uterine and ovarian vascular pedicles.
Methods: Eight (n = 8) female baboons at a primate research facility underwent a uterine autotransplant procedure with preservation of the vascular pedicles. The uterine arteries were separated from their amorphous tissue and skeletonized toward the internal iliac arteries bilaterally. A segment of the internal iliac artery was removed bilaterally along with both uterine arteries. Both ovarian veins were preserved to assist with the reperfusion of the uterine organ. Due to larger vascular pedicles in one of the primates, the uterine arteries were separated and reattached directly via end-to-end anastomosis. In another baboon, the deep uterine vein was used as a vascular pedicle rather than the ovarian vein on the left side due to adequate size and visualization.
Results: Immediate tissue reperfusion occurred intraoperatively in 5 of the animals, with slower perfusion in 3 of the animals. Average warm ischemia time was 43.8 minutes while the average cold ischemia time was 174 minutes (2 hours, 54 minutes). Average total surgical time was 5.9 hours. All animals were sheltered into separate cages and monitored for behavior changes and food and drink consumption. Three of the primates expired immediately postoperatively, 2 from severe dehydration and 1 from gastric aspiration.
Conclusions: This pilot study describes a modified surgical approach for uterine transplants in the nonhuman primate. This surgical technique may be applicable to living and deceased donor uterine transplantation.
Keywords: baboon; cold ischemia; tissue reperfusion.