Surgeons in Cleveland, Ohio have performed the first uterus transplant in the United States, following a technique already proven in Sweden that could help give some infertile women a chance at pregnancy.
The Cleveland Clinic said Thursday the nine-hour surgery was performed a day earlier on a 26-year-old woman, using a uterus from a deceased donor.
The hospital, one of the leading health care facilities in the U.S., said it would not release more details until a press conference next week, except that the woman's condition was stable.
Last year, the clinic began screening candidates for transplants, which replace a non-functioning uterus, allowing a woman to become pregnant and give birth.
Women potentially eligible to receive a uterine transplant include those who suffer from an irreversible condition known as Uterine Factor Infertility (UFI), which affects between three and five percent of women worldwide, the hospital said.
In 2014, Sweden reported the first successful birth after a womb transplant, with a total of five healthy babies born so far.
Doctors there said the still experimental treatment might be an alternative for some of the thousands of women unable to have children because they were born without a uterus or lost it to disease.
Others have questioned whether such a medically risky step would be a realistic option for many women.
Patients could reject the transplant and have to take potent immune-suppressing drugs for a procedure that is not life-saving.