Foch Hospital, one of the world’s pioneers in this field, performs three uterine transplants, resulting in three births

June 3, 2024

Crédits photo @Virginie Bonnefon

Teams led by Professor Jean-Marc Ayoubi, head of the obstetrics gynaecology and reproductive medicine departments at Foch Hospital, have completed the third uterine transplant in France, giving birth to a third baby from the second transplant. This achievement places the Foch team among the world leaders in uterus transplantations.

The third uterine transplant lasted almost eighteen hours and took place on October 21, 2023. The patient, like the previous two, suffered from Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser (MRKH) syndrome, responsible for infertility due to uterine agenesis (a syndrome affecting one in every 4,500 births). The transplant was performed using the uterus of a living donor, in this case the patient’s mother. The operation was a great success, with both patients doing well since leaving Foch Hospital.

An international cooperation in reproductive medicine, rewarded by three births from three uterine transplants

These medical advances are part of a research project initiated by Professor Ayoubi over fifteen years ago, in international partnership with Professor Mats Brännström’s team at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Professor Ayoubi obtained authorisation to carry out ten transplants within the framework of a rigorously elaborated protocol, using robotic surgery technologies which he has thus helped to develop. The progress made in the operations thanks to these cutting-edge techniques has contributed to the Professor’s reputation in the field. In this way, Prof. Ayoubi and his teams, joined by Prof. René Frydman (pioneer of the first French “test-tube baby”) and in collaboration with Swedish teams, performed a first uterus transplant in March 2019, followed by a second in October 2022.

These operations enabled the first two patients to give birth to three babies. With this third successful transplant, Foch Hospital has consolidated its position among the world leaders, illustrating French excellence in this field. Only a few hundred transplants have been carried out worldwide in almost a century, a figure that confirms the achievements of the Foch Hospital.

This research project gives renewed hope to the patients concerned, whether they were born without a uterus, are faced with uterine infertility due to hysterectomy, or have a non-functioning uterus. This collaboration, involving over twenty researchers, paves the way for significant scientific advances in the fields of transplantation and reproduction.

About Foch Hospital

With a staff of 2,300 employees, including nearly 300 physicians, 611 installed beds, 260,000 outpatient consultations excluding maternity and emergencies, and over 60,000 hospitalizations per year, Foch Hospital is one of the largest healthcare facilities in the Île-de-France region. Its multidisciplinary high-level care covers almost the entire spectrum of adult medical and surgical fields. Foch Hospital is heavily involved in education, training, and research, with cutting-edge medical technology and a tradition of excellence in patient care, making it one of the most successful non-profit private hospitals in France. The Franco-American Foundation Foch, which created and built Foch Hospital, remains a key player in its management and strategic decision-making. Most of its services experience high and rapidly increasing attendance.

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