Doctors at a Pune hospital will perform the country’s first uterus transplant on a 21-year-old woman on Thursday. They will also perform the second such transplant a day later. Both cases will have mothers donating their uteruses to their daughters, like the world’s first uterus donor did in Sweden in 2012.
A team of gynaecologists from Sasoon Hospital visited the patient in Galaxy Care Hospital in Pune and approved the surgery after assessing her. “We have been waiting for this for the past two-and-a -half years. A team of 12 surgeons with nursing and medical staff has been anxiously waiting for the surgery,” said Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, laparoscopic cancer surgeon and director of Galaxy Care Hospital.
The team that will perform the surgery comprises cardiovascular surgeons, gynaecologists, intensivists, immunologists and a nursing staff. Doctors have psychoanalysed the recipients and the donors to confirm that all are in the best medical state for the surgeries.
Doctors said that the recipient of the first transplant was born with a condition known as Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome, a disorder that causes the vagina and uterus to be underdeveloped or absent, but the external genitalia are normal. “The surgery will take place in two phases. In the first one we will remove the uterus from the donor’s womb which will last for four to five hours and in the second, we will transplant it into the womb of the recipient which will take two-three hours,” added Dr Puntambekar.
The doctors will perform the second surgery on a 24-year-old on Friday. She is a resident of Vadodara and will receive the uterus of her 41-year-old mother. “Based on the success of the two surgeries, we will take up the other cases of the same syndrome and schedule their surgeries,” Dr Puntambekar said.
The hospital has procured high-tech equipments and trained the staff multiple times over the procedure. “We have worked very hard on it and we want to be 200% sure,” he said. There are around 20 patients on the wait list for a similar procedure and doctors are hoping this surgery provides them with a reliable option.