01:27 - Source: CNN
Uterus transplants to begin in U.S.

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Transplanted uterus removed because of a complication

Cleveland Clinic said circumstance of complication under review

(CNN) —  

The first patient in the United States to receive a uterus transplant had to have the organ removed because of a complication, the Cleveland Clinic announced Wednesday.

The 26-year-old woman received the womb from a deceased donor during a nine-hour operation last month.

“We are saddened to share that our patient, Lindsey, recently experienced a sudden complication that led to the removal of her transplanted uterus,” the clinic said.

The circumstance of the complication is under review. The clinic said that Lindsey, whose last name was not provided, was doing well and recovering.

“I just wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude towards all of my doctors. They acted very quickly to ensure my health and safety. Unfortunately, I did lose the uterus to complications. However, I am doing okay and appreciate all of your prayers and good thoughts,” she said in a statement.

She’d spoken earlier this week before she lost the organ.

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“I was 16 and was told I would never have children and from that moment on, I’ve prayed that God would allow me that opportunity to experience pregnancy. And here we are today at the beginning of that journey,” Lindsey said while sitting in a wheelchair with her husband, Blake, standing behind her.

They are parents to three adopted boys.

The Cleveland Clinic announced a research study in November in which it would perform uterus transplants on 10 women with uterine factor infertility. On Wednesday, it said that study is ongoing.

UFI is a condition in which a woman cannot carry a pregnancy because she was born without a uterus, has lost her uterus or has a uterus that no longer functions. It’s an irreversible condition affecting 3% to 5% of women worldwide.

While Lindsey was the first patient to receive a uterus transplant in the United States, a team of doctors at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden has performed nine. All involved living donors. Two were unsuccessful.

Five of the women have become pregnant, resulting in four live births.

CNN’s Debra Goldschmidt and Ed Payne contributed to this report.