Swedish woman gives birth to a healthy boy after womb transplant

Swedish woman gives birth to a healthy boy after becoming the world’s FIRST to get pregnant after having a womb transplant performed using a robot

  • The unnamed Swedish woman gave birth to a boy weighing 6lbs 3oz (2.9kg)
  • He was born via a Caesarean section after 36 weeks – his name is also unknown
  • The procedure was done in 2017 and she was revealed to be pregnant in January 

A woman who became the first in the world to get pregnant after having a womb transplant performed using a robot has given birth to a healthy boy.

The unnamed woman, from Sweden, gave birth to a boy weighing 6lbs 3oz (2.9kg) via a Caesarean section after 36 weeks. His name is also unknown.

The world-first procedure was done in 2017 and the mother made international headlines when doctors announced she was pregnant in January.

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

The unnamed woman, from Sweden, gave birth to a boy weighing 6lbs 3oz (2.9kg) via a Caesarean section after 36 weeks. His name is also unknown

Scientists have, for the first time, used a robot to remove a woman’s womb before transplanting it into a woman who later became pregnant

The woman, whose age is also unknown, had a donor womb transplanted into her body at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in October 2017.

It is currently unclear whether she was born without a womb, or had it removed due to cancer or another illness. However, she still had eggs that doctors used for IVF.

Ten months later an embryo, created through fertility treatment before she underwent the life-changing transplant, was inserted into her new uterus.

Doctors were able to confirm the pregnancy a few weeks later.

The medics revealed the woman and baby suffered no complications, and that the C-section was planned and not an emergency.

Dr Pernilla Dahm-Kähler, who helped perform the womb transplant, said: ‘It’s a fantastic feeling to deliver such a special, longed-for child.’

She added that it’s ‘simply wonderful’ to see everyone’s joy after their hopes of the woman having a child became a reality.

Professor Mats Brännström, who led the procedure, said: ‘This is an extremely important step towards developing the surgery involved in uterine transplantation, and its safety. 

‘For the first time, we’re showing that the less invasive robot-assisted surgical technique is practicable.’

Only 15 babies worldwide have been born from a transplanted womb, of which nine have been delivered following procedures in Sweden.

The robot can remove a donor’s womb using keyhole surgery through five holes which are just 1cm wide, reducing how much blood they lose and speeding up their recovery afterwards

However, the latest birth is the first to have been born through a womb transplant that used robots.

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

Doctors said using robots for the life-changing procedure has ‘a great future’ and makes the surgery less damaging for donors.

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

This allows the procedure to be done through five 1cm-wide holes in the donor’s body – unlike much bigger cuts needed by human surgeons.

Womb transplants have successfully resulted in pregnancy only 14 times, including this instance after surgery with a robot, and another world-first case in which a woman had a transplant from a dead donor 

The doctors said this leads to the patients losing less blood and spending less time in hospital after donating their womb.

The other babies born after uterus transplants have been in Sweden, with others in the US, Brazil, Serbia and India.

Doctors have warned there is a shortage of living donors, and most women that give away their womb to be transplanted are family members or close friends. 

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 successful pregnancy of 32-year-old Fabiana Amorim de Lima, from Brazil, marked a breakthrough in fertility treatment.

The technology is being pioneered by Professor Mats Brännström (pictured), who said: ‘I think robotic surgery has a great future in this area’

Surgeons control the robot using joysticks which move instruments inside the patient’s body – hand movements are converted to extremely precise motions

Her eggs had been frozen before the operation and, after she started having regular periods following the womb transplant, she was impregnated using IVF.

Luisa Santos was born by c-section in December 2017, 35 weeks into the pregnancy.

Doctors said the use of a dead woman’s womb offered hope for future mothers-to-be because it meant it would be easier to find a willing and suitable donor.

Ten previous attempts, in the US, Czech Republic and Turkey, to transplant a womb from a dead donor had ended in failure.

Luisa’s delivery last December – in which she weighed 5lb 10oz – proved the procedure can be carried out safely using a dead donor’s womb.

Spurred on by the breakthrough, UK surgeons are planning the first womb transplants in this country this year.


Uterus transplant surgery is rare and is believed to have only ever produced 13 babies worldwide.

It normally involves surgically removing the womb of a donor – usually a relative or even friend of the woman who wants to get pregnant – implanting it into the patient, then using IVF.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have pioneered a new type of the operation by using a robot to perform part of the surgery.

The robot can remove the donor’s womb by operating through five 1cm-wide holes in her abdomen, instead of a full-size incision.

It is controlled by two qualified surgeons who use joysticks to control the instruments inside the woman’s body. 

The robot converts human hand movements into millimetre-specific motions and reduces the risk of accidental or unnecessary damage. 

This means the patient loses less blood, suffers less scarring and spends less time recovering in hospital, according to lead scientist Professor Mats Brännström.

The womb must still be implanted in a procedure done by human surgeons. 

Source: Sahlgrenska Academy 

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