Laparotomy or minimal invasive surgery in uterus transplantation: a comparison

Minimal invasive surgery with robotics will be the preferred method in uterus transplantation in the future. Predicted benefits are surgical accuracy, minimal bleeding, short hospital stays, and early recovery to normal life for live donors and recipients.

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Volume 112, Issue 1, Pages 11–18


Jean Marc Ayoubi, M.D., Ph.D., Marie Carbonnel, M.D., Paul Pirtea, M.D., Niclas Kvarnström, M.D., Ph.D., Mats Brännström, M.D., Ph.D., Pernilla Dahm-Kähler, M.D., Ph.D.


Uterus transplantation (UTx) is the first available treatment for absolute uterine factor infertility, a condition due to absence of the uterus or presence of a non-functional uterus. The proof-of-concept of UTx as an infertility treatment for this group of patients occurred in 2014 in Sweden by the first birth after human UTx. That and subsequent cases of the Swedish trial were live-donor UTx procedures with laparotomy of both donor and recipient. Although results of the initial Swedish clinical UTx trial were very favorable in terms of take-home-baby rate, the drawback was the long duration (>10 h) of donor surgeries and associated long recovery periods. There exist three later publications, with uterus procurements from live donors by laparotomy with a range of surgical durations of 5.3 hours to 13 hours. Our collaborative Swedish-French team has initiated efforts to introduce minimal invasive surgery in one trial in Sweden and one in France. The principle of these UTx trials is to use modern concepts of robotic-assisted laparoscopy primarily in the live donor. There also exists a small number of published UTx procedures with donor surgery by partial conventional laparoscopy and one published case with total robotic-assisted laparoscopy procedure. This review discusses open versus minimal invasive surgery in relation to the accumulated knowledge in the field. Moreover, we propose some future directions for the development of this surgery in UTx.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.