Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
A 2-year-old girl who was born without a windpipe has a new chance at life, thanks to a new windpipe made from the girl’s own stem cells. PEOPLE.com has the story:
Hannah Warren has been unable to breathe, eat, drink or swallow on her own since she was born in South Korea in 2010. Until the operation at a central Illinois hospital, she had spent her entire life in a hospital in Seoul. Doctors there told her parents there was no hope and they expected her to die.
The stem cells came from Hannah’s bone marrow, extracted with a special needle inserted into her hip bone. They were seeded in a lab onto a plastic scaffold, where it took less than a week for them to multiply and create a new windpipe.
About the size of a 3-inch tube of penne pasta, it was implanted April 9 in a nine-hour procedure.
Early signs indicate the windpipe is working, Hannah’s doctors announced Tuesday, although she is still on a ventilator. They believe she will eventually be able to live at home and lead a normal life.
“We feel like she’s reborn,” said Hannah’s father, Darryl Warren.
Thursday, September 20th, 2012
Two Swedish women who were in need of uterine transplants in order to become pregnant have reportedly successfully received the transplants courtesy of their mothers, who donated their uteruses to their daughters. The two women, who are both in their 30s, are without a uterus for different reasons; one had it removed years ago because of cervical cancer, the other was born without one. MSNBC.com reports:
Specialists at the University of Goteborg completed the surgery over the weekend without complications, but say they won’t consider the procedures successful unless the women achieve pregnancy after their observation period ends a year from now.
“We are not going to call it a complete success until this results in children,” said Michael Olausson, one of the Swedish surgeons told The Associated Press. “That’s the best proof.”
He said the daughters started in-vitro fertilization, or IVF, before the surgery.
IVF uses hormones to stimulate the ovaries, which the women already had, to produce eggs. Scientists would fertilize the eggs with sperm in a lab, before freezing the embryos. The frozen embryos would then be thawed and transferred if the women are in good health after the observation period, Olausson said. After a maximum of two pregnancies, the wombs will be removed again.
Image: Woman in surgery, via Shutterstock