A YEAR since the first two uterine transplants in the country was performed back-to-back by doctors in Pune, the team at Galaxy Care Hospital has successfully performed three more uterine transplants. On May 18 and 19 last year, two women, one from Solapur in Maharashtra and another from Bharuch in Gujarat, had undergone uterine transplants at the hospital. In the first two cases, the women have already had eight to nine menstrual cycles, said Dr Telang.
“Since then, we have performed three more uterine transplants and in all three cases, the uterus was absent in the women,” Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, director of Galaxy Care Hospital, told The Indian Express.
As was the case in the first two surgeries, mothers donated uteri to their daughters for the next three transplants, said Dr Milind Telang, gynaecologist and one of the members of the transplant team. On January 26, a uterine transplant was performed on a woman from Karnataka, who didn’t have an uterus since birth. On April 7 and 8, two more uterine transplants were performed on patients, who didn’t have uteri. In the three other uterine transplants, the uterus has been well retained and the women have been discharged from the hospital.
“It is encouraging that our team has undertaken five uterine transplants within a year. While two more are planned in July, we are going to slow down at the moment as efforts are on now for an assisted pregnancy,” said Puntambekar.
While the first attempt at such a pregnancy had failed, they were hopeful about the success of the next embryo transfer, he said.
“The removal of the uterus from all donor mothers was done laparoscopically and this minimised the trauma,” said Puntambekar. The laparoscopic-assisted procedure helps in better dissection of vessels and shortens the operative time, he said.
The entire technique was published in the American Association of Gynaecological Laparoscopy’s Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynaecology. Across the world, a total of 29 uterine transplants have been performed till date and they have led to five pregnancies, said Puntambekar. “While the first three surgeries were done free of cost, the ultimate aim is also to make it affordable for the common woman who, due to medical reasons, don’t get a chance to experience motherhood,” he said.