A breakthrough uterus transplantation procedure that will change her life, as well as the lives of many women with uterine factor infertility, was done to the Jordanian 26 year old Riham, whose donor was her 50 year old mother, for the first time in Lebanon, under clinical research by a team of 6 Lebanese specialists in transplant surgery and high-risk obstetrics, in coordination with a Swedish team of 4 doctors headed by Professor Mats Brännström and the Lebanese Dr. Randa Akouri. The procedure was done on June 11th; the donor’s procedure took 12 hours, while the recipient’s took 6, and both were very smooth. The patient then stayed in Lebanon under supervision for one month, to prevent undesirable side effects. She is now doing well, waiting for the IVF (in-vitro fertilization) process, which can be initiated in 9 months, to be followed by a healthy pregnancy.
A remarkably innovative procedure that is still under evaluation and development, uterus transplantation is likely to change the lives of many women who are not able to carry a pregnancy due to Uterine Factor Infertility. It is estimated that in the MENAT region (MENA & Turkey), 100,000 women have Uterine Factor Infertility. The trial requires that potential participants undergo a complex protocol and extensive medical and psychological evaluations to make sure she is a good candidate. The selected woman will maintain the transplant for as long as she needs to have children, and then have it removed, saving her from long-term use of immunosuppressive drugs.
It is worth mentioning that Lebanon is the first country in the MENA region and among the only 10 countries in the world till now that are giving back hope to many women who are not able to carry a pregnancy. Back in 2016, Bellevue Medical Center had signed an agreement with the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, to become among the first teams worldwide to perform the uterus transplantation trial and was chosen as the first hospital to realize the procedure in the MENAT region (MENA & Turkey), for meeting the high quality standards needed for it.