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Turkey carries out first womb transplant operation

posted 11 Aug 2011, 08:25 by Mpelembe   [ updated 11 Aug 2011, 08:28 ]
A 21-year-old Turkish woman receives transplanted womb in groundbreaking operation.

ANTALYA, TURKEY (AUGUST 10, 2011) AA - Surgeons in Turkey have carried out what they hope will be the first successful womb transplant in the world.

The seven-hour operation on 21-year-old Derya Sert took place at Akdeniz University Hospital in the southern Mediterranean province of Antalya.

Surgeons led by Omer Ozkan inserted a womb from a deceased donor into Sert.

Sert, who is married, was born without a uterus. She hopes that she will be able to become a mother once she's undergone the second phase of the procedure, a test tube baby programme.

If she successfully gives birth, drug therapy will be cut off, and the womb will be removed.

Speaking at a news conference at the hospital on Wednesday (August 10) head of the university Israfil Kurtcephe said the donor would "have a place in history."

A womb transplant was conducted once before in Saudi Arabia in 2000, but had to be removed from the 26-year-old recipient four months later because of complications.

Lead surgeon Ozkan, who also carried out Turkey's first two-arm transplant surgery, indicated more time was needed before declaring the operation successful.

"We do not have any surgical problems, but more time is needed before we deem the operation a success. As I had explained to you after the arm transplant, following the operation the first ten days, first three months and first six months are particularly crucial periods," he said.

Womb transplant is considered especially challenging since the uterus is a complex organ supplied by four tiny blood vessels, giving more scope for blood clotting.