An Australian woman hopes to carry a baby in the same womb she was grown in after undergoing a womb transplant from her mother.
Kirsty Bryant became the first woman in the country to receive a uterine transplant after she and her mother Michelle Hayton, 54, underwent surgery at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney last month.
Bryant, 30, was unable to carry children following an emergency hysterectomy after the birth of her daughter, Violet, two years ago.
Bryant and Hayton shared their story on channel Nine’s 60 Minutes.
Hayton recalls ‘Kirsty rang, she said to me, “Hi, Mum. What do you think about having a hysterectomy and giving me your uterus?” I said, ‘Yep it’s on. I have no problem with that.’
Hayton spent 11 hours in the operating theatre as surgeons worked to remove her womb.
Professor Mats Brannstrom, who performed the world’s first womb transplant resulting in a child in 2014, led the two operations.
‘There are small blood vessels going out, and we try to isolate those. The problem is that there is a ureter on each side. And the ureter goes from the kidney to the bladder, and we cannot injure that,’ Mats said.
After removal, the uterus was flushed out before being transplanted into Bryant, who now hopes to carry another child in the donor womb.
Kirsty Bryant said: ‘I am going to potentially, all fingers and toes crossed, carry a baby in the same uterus, in the same womb I was growing in. It will hopefully be a great story to tell my baby one day.’
Dr Rebecca Deans, the trial’s lead surgeon, said she ‘couldn’t have been happier’ with how the surgeries went.
She said: ‘It was such a wonderful day to actually finally get there and be in that room. The buzz was amazing. And then it all went to plan, and Kirsty’s doing beautifully.’
‘Personally, professionally, it was just incredible, and I think everyone felt the same,’ Deans said.
‘There were so many components to the team, the nursing staff, the anaesthetists and everyone’s saying that they felt the same way, that they really felt like it was one of those moments you’ll reflect on professionally and never ever forget.’
Less than two months on from the operation, Hayton has yet to regain feeling in her bladder and suffered a serious infection following the surgery, but says she has no regrets.
For Bryant, it will take a little while longer to see if she can carry a baby. However, six embryos are ready and waiting for transfer.
‘It could be somewhere between three and six months from the surgery where we can start implanting those embryos,’ said Deans.
‘And each of those embryos has a 30 to 50 per cent chance of success.’
Professor Brannstrom previously carried out a similar procedure on a mother and daughter in Sweden, resulting in a healthy baby boy.
Bryant said after a successful surgery: ‘To not put my hand up and give it a go, I think would be a massive regret for myself.
‘Even if it doesn’t go to plan, the research and the information that they will get from this, in Australia, is going to be worth it.
‘I just want to give hope and give options for other women out there.’
The operation’s success also marks a huge breakthrough in Australian fertility treatment.