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World premiere: a British woman donates her womb to her daughter

by Nicole
June 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm

A British woman is about to make history as the first person in the world who donates her womb to her daughter for transplantation.

Eva Ottosson, 56, agreed to take part in this medical procedure, hoping that it will be completed successfully and that her daughter Sara will benefit from her uterus.

If the transplant is successful, doctors hope that Sarah, who was born without reproductive organs, may become pregnant and carry a child in the same womb that she was born from.

The transplant operation, which will be extremely complicated, will take place next spring, in Goteborg, Sweden.

“My daughter and I are both very rational people and we both think ‘it’s just a womb’. She needs the womb and if I’m the best donor for her … well, go on. She needs it more than me. I’ve had two daughters so it’s served me well,” said Eva Ottosson.

In 2000, in Saudi Arabia, a womb transplant has been attempted. Then, a 26-year-old woman, who had lost her uterus because of haemorrhage, received one from a donor aged 46.

Unfortunately, the transplant was not successful as the uterus had to be eliminated from the body after 99 days.

Today, the doctors in Gothenburg say that they are at a point where they can successfully perform the transplant, thanks to new surgical methods developed in recent years.

However, Dr Mats Brannstrom, who is leading the medical team, says that a womb transplant remains one of the most complex surgeries available.

“Technically it is lot more difficult than transplanting a kidney, liver or heart. The difficulty with it is avoiding haemorrhage and making sure you have long enough blood vessels to connect the womb,” he said.

Sarah talked about the procedure she will be subjected to: “It would mean the world to me for this to work and to have children. At the moment I am trying not to get my hopes up so that I am not disappointed. But we have also been thinking about adoption for a long time and if the transplant fails then we will try to adopt.”

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