Womb Transplant: Pune Creates Medical History

A hospital in Pune created medical history when a womb was successfully transplanted from a lady to her daughter.

Womb Transplant-Pune Creates Medical History-News Time-Now
Doctors performing a laparoscopic surgery | Photo credit: Rick Wilking

For the first time in India’s medical history, a hospital in Pune successfully transplanted a uterus.

Considered to be a highly complicated operation, the womb was donated by a lady to her 21-year-old daughter from Solapur in Maharashtra at the Galaxy Care Laparoscopy Institute (GCLI) on Karve Road.

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The girl was born with a rare congenital condition called Mayer Rokitansky Küster Hauser (MRKH) syndrome characterised by the absence of the vagina, cervix and uterus. As a result, the girl was not able to conceive.

This syndrome affects one in every 5,000 women.

Womb Transplant-Pune Creates Medical History-News Time-Now
A team of 12 city doctors from the hospital carried out the rare surgery

The hospital’s medical director Dr Shailesh Puntambekar was quoted in Pune Mirror as saying: “The surgery was finished by 9.15 pm on Thursday. This is the first such surgery in the country. We took extra care to ensure its success. Developing the technique for it took almost three years of research.”

Dr Shailesh Puntambekar

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Doctors however say that the success factor of the surgery can be fully assessed only after a period of three weeks, when Doppler and sonography studies indicate that the transplanted uterus has regular blood flow and functions normally.

Womb Transplant-Pune Creates Medical History-News Time-NowShe will also have to be put on immunosuppressant medication to reduce chances of rejection of the transplanted uterus. Will this have a bearing on the growing foetus is to be seen.

 “After transplantation, frozen embryos will be implanted in the womb to enable conception. More than 26 patients have already approached the hospital for this surgery. The first six will not be charged, although the cost of the transplant is about Rs 7 to 8 lakh,” the medical director added.

However, once the girl delivers a baby, the transplanted womb will be removed. This is because the woman cannot be kept on immunosuppressant (anti-rejection drugs) medicine for life.

Womb Transplant-Pune Creates Medical History-News Time-NowExplaining the case history, Dr Puntambekar was quoted as saying: “The woman got married at 18, and they learned about her problem after two years. After undergoing multiple check-ups and screenings at the Solapur civil hospital, the family understood the ailment. The husband runs a business and they belong to a well-to-do family”.

Preparations for the womb transplant have been going on at the hospital for the last few months. The recipient also had to undergo an ovulation stimulation procedure through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The hospital is likely to reveal the full details of the surgery today.

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