Transplant advances

  • Posted

Posted 18/09/2012

There are two stories hitting the news today relating to further success in the field of transplantation.  Two women in Sweden have had wombs transplanted from their mothers into themselves. One had lost her womb as a result of cervical cancer surgery and the other had been born without a womb.  The operation has been judged a success, but the surgical team have said they will not be able to say the procedure has been an ultimate success until the women have successfully carried a pregnancy and give birth.

The other story reported in the Lancet is a two year follow up in a tracheal transplant/replacement in a 12 year old child.  It is perhaps inaccurate to refer to this as a transplant as it was actually rebuilding a trachea (windpipe), based around a basic ‘scaffold’ using stem cells and other grafted cells and tissue. The trachea was found to have re-vascularised within a week of surgery and two years on, he has a totally functional airway.  He has grown 11cm since surgery and all the signs are very hopeful.

Trefine Maynard, a solicitor with the specialist medical injury team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “The advances in remedial surgery are awe inspiring. It is encouraging to read good news stories about the work being done in the medical field to offer hope to those who not many years ago would have had conditions which were untreatable.We see all too many cases where care offered to patients falls far below an acceptable standard which is heart-breaking and it is cheering to be reminded that there are huge steps forwards in what is medically possible. We spend our time trying to ensure that those who have been let down by a small proportion of medical professionals get proper recompense for what they have been through, and would be reassured if these mistakes could be reduced to an absolute minimum as they should be. This however, only makes us keener to celebrate the good news stories when we can”.


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