Medical breakthrough as Swedish woman becomes world's FIRST to get pregnant after having a womb transplant performed using a robot

January 9, 2019  20:29

A woman has become pregnant after having a uterus transplant performed with a robot, scientists have revealed.

The world-first procedure was done in Sweden in 2017 and the mother-to-be is now expecting her child in spring this year.

Uterus transplants involve surgically removing the womb of one woman and implanting it into one who cannot have a baby naturally.

When the Swedish woman, whose name and age are unknown, gives birth she will be only the 14th person ever to have a baby after a womb transplant.

Doctors said using robots for the procedure has 'a great future' and makes surgery less damaging for donors.

Five other women have undergone womb transplants through robotic surgery at the University of Gothenburg. However, none of them have yet to become pregnant. 

Using surgical robots allows the procedure to be done through five 1cm-wide holes in the donor's body - unlike much bigger cuts needed by human surgeons.

This leads to the patients losing less blood and spending less time in hospital after donating their womb, the experts say.

Eight of the 14 babies born after uterus transplants have been born in Sweden, with others in the US, Brazil, Serbia and India.

The robotic breakthrough comes after another world-first last year, in which it was revealed a baby had been born from a uterus transplanted from a dead donor.

The life-changing surgery is carried out on women who are unable to have children naturally – for example, those with Mayer Rokitansky Küster Hauser, a condition which means they are born without a womb.

'I think robotic surgery has a great future in this area,' said Professor Mats Brännström, a world-leading researcher in the field.

He added: 'We haven’t saved as much time as we thought we would, but we gained in other ways. 

'The donor loses less blood, the hospital stay is shorter, and the patient feels better after surgery.' 

The robot is controlled by two surgeons who use joysticks which convert their movements into millimetre-precise motions in the robot arms.

Accessing the donor's body through keyhole incisions means the procedure is less damaging than traditional operations.

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