Live birth after robotic-assisted live donor uterus transplantation

Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2020 Sep;99(9):1222-1229. doi: 10.1111/aogs.13853. Epub 2020 Apr 12.


Introduction: The proof-of-concept of uterus transplantation, as a treatment for absolute uterine factor infertility, came with the first live birth after uterus transplantation, which took place in Sweden in 2014. This was after a live donor procedure, with laparotomy in both donor and recipient. In our second, ongoing trial we introduced a robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery of the donor to develop minimal invasive surgery for this procedure. Here, we report the surgery and pregnancy behind the first live birth from that trial.

Material and methods: In the present study, within a prospective observational study, a 62-year-old mother was the uterus donor and her 33-year-old daughter with uterine absence as part of the Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, was the recipient. Donor surgery was mainly done by robotic-assisted laparoscopy, involving dissections of the utero-vaginal fossa, arteries and ureters. The last part of surgery was by laparotomy. Recipient laparotomy included vascular anastomoses to the external iliac vessels. Data relating to in vitro fertilization, surgery, follow up, obstetrics and postnatal growth are presented.

Results: Three in vitro fertilization cycles prior to transplantation gave 12 cryopreserved embryos. The surgical time of the donor in the robot was 360 minutes, according to protocol. The durations for robotic surgery for dissections of the utero-vaginal fossa, arteries and ureters were 30, 160 and 84 minutes, respectively. The remainder of donor surgery was by laparotomy. Recipient surgery included preparations of the vaginal vault, three end-to-side anastomoses (one arterial, two venous) on each side to the external iliacs and fixation of the uterus. Ten months after transplantation, one blastocyst was transferred and resulted in pregnancy, which proceeded uneventfully until elective cesarean section in week 36+1 . A healthy boy (Apgar 9-10-10) was delivered. Follow up of child has been uneventful for 12 months.

Conclusions: This is the first report of a live birth after use of robotic-assisted laparoscopy in uterus transplantation and is thereby a proof-of-concept of use of minimal invasive surgery in this new type of transplantation.

Keywords: human; infertility; pregnancy; robot; robotic-assisted laparoscopy; transplantation; uterus; uterus transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Laparoscopy
  • Live Birth
  • Living Donors
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Transplantation / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Uterus / transplantation*