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The 9 Most Interesting TransplantsThe first human organ transplant successfully completed in the modern age was a corneal transplant in 1905. Since then, doctors and surgeons have performed many types of transplants, including those of reproductive organs and limbs, forever changing the lives of their patients.
Here's a look at nine of the most interesting transplants ever done.
First successful womb transplantSlide 2 of 19
First successful womb transplantOn Aug. 9, 2011, doctors at the Akdeniz University Hospital in Turkey transplanted the womb of a deceased woman into Derya Sert, a 21-year-old woman who was born without a uterus.
"The surgery was a success ... But we will be successful when she has her baby," micro-surgeon Dr. Omer Ozkan, who was part of the surgical team, said in statement.
According to her doctors, Sert has been menstruating normally since the operation, and is on drugs to suppress her immune system so that her body won't reject her new organ. Doctors will need to implant embryos into Sert's new womb in order for her have a child.
Scientists have previously shown that animals, such as dogs and sheep, can become pregnant after being transplanted with a new uterus, but such a feat in humans remains to be seen. In 2000, doctors in Saudi Arabia tried to transplant a uterus from a living donor to a woman, but the womb had to be removed 99 days later, after the recipient experienced heavy blood clotting.
Other women around the world are also hoping to get uterus transplants for example, last year a British woman pronounced that she would donate her uterus to her daughter.Slide 3 of 19
Ovary transplantsSlide 4 of 19
Ovary transplantsThough it remains unproven whether a woman can become pregnant after a womb transplant, the same cannot be said for an ovary transplant.
In 2007, doctors at the Infertility Centre of St. Louis, Mo. took the right ovary of Dorothee Tilly and transplanted it into her twin sister, Susanne Butscher, whose own ovaries had stopped producing hormones and eggs after she went through early menopause at age 15.
Butscher, who received the world's first whole ovary transplant, gave birth to a healthy baby girl a year later.
Also in 2007, Danish doctor Claus Yding Andersen showed that a woman could give birth after being transplanted with her own ovarian tissue. Her patient, Stinne Holm Bergholdt, had ovarian tissue removed and frozen prior to receiving cancer treatment, and Andersen replaced the strips of ovarian tissue after Bergholdt was cured of cancer. Bergholdt later had two children a year apart, the first with the aid of fertility treatments, and the second without.
"It is an amazing fact that these ovarian strips have been working for so long, and it provides information on how powerful this technique can be," Andersen told Reuters.Slide 5 of 19
Penis transplantSlide 6 of 19
Penis transplantSurgeons in China completed the first and only penis transplant ever reported in 2006. While the operation was a success, doctors removed the organ 15 days after surgery because the penis recipient and his wife suffered severe psychological distress, the medical team reported in the journal European Urology.
The 44-year-old man who received the transplanted penis lost his own penis in an accident, leaving him with a stump less than half an inch long. He was unable to urinate standing up, or to have sex. His doctors gave him the organ of a 22-year-old brain-dead man, whose parents donated his penis.
After 10 days, the patient was able to urinate normally. However, his new penis had a swollen shape and his wife couldn't psychologically handle the change they ultimately decided to have it removed, the doctors said.
"We think that, although we had done as much extensive research as we could preoperatively, what happened after the operation was still beyond our and the patient's imagination, because this was the first attempted transplantation," they wrote in their report.Slide 7 of 19
Six-organ transplantSlide 8 of 19