Blackburn doctor Saaliha Vali performs UK’s first womb transplant

This week, doctors across the country welcomed the news that a woman had successfully received a uterus donated by her older sister.

This “medical step” offers new hope not only to young girls born without a uterus, but also to those whose uterus may have been removed due to illness.

The recipient was a 34-year-old woman and the donor her 40-year-old sister, both of whom wish to remain anonymous. Her sister already had two children and completed her family. Both sisters live in England and the procedure took place in February.

Part of the team that performed the procedure was Dr Saaliha Vali, who was born and raised in Blackburn and later qualified as a fertility specialist. She currently practices in London, but also spent her time as a young doctor at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

The surgical procedure of uterine transplantation formed the basis of her doctoral work, which she completed at Imperial College London. Dr. Vali witnessed the surgery and captured video of the operation in progress.

She posted: “Proud to have been part of the amazing WTUK womb transplant team who performed the first womb transplant in the UK.

“A huge thank you to all the surgeons, nurses and hospital staff who helped make this possible.”

Professor Richard Smith, from Imperial College London, performed the historic womb transplant alongside his colleague Isabel Quiroga, from the Oxford Transplant Center, in February.

Professor Richard Smith described the joy he shared with the sisters at a clinic a month later.

“We were all in tears, it was very, very emotional.

“I think it was probably the most stressful week of our surgical career, but also incredibly positive.

“The giver and the receiver are over the moon.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

The 34-year-old received the womb in a nine-hour, 20-minute operation performed at Churchill Hospital in Oxford. (UK Womb Transplant Photos/PA)

Lancashire Telegraph:

Dr Meenakshi Choudhary, consultant in reproductive medicine and gynecology at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “(This is) exciting news about the UK’s first successful womb transplant.

“This medical milestone offers hope not only to young girls born without a uterus, but also to a wider range of individuals facing reproductive issues following the removal of the uterus for various indications such as cancer. .

“The implications are immense, giving them the opportunity to experience the joys of pregnancy and motherhood. A remarkable advancement in medical science and gender inclusion.

Adam Balen, Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This is an excellent and very significant achievement, being the first uterine transplant performed in the UK and I congratulate the Oxford/London team.

“Many successful transplants have been performed around the world, bringing hope to women born without a uterus for whom conceiving a baby through IVF may not be an option.

“The surgery is very complex for both donor and recipient and requires the use of anti-rejection drugs taken by the recipient for the duration of the transplant.”

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