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Pune: After first successful uterus transplant, over 200 women register for help

The success of the first two uterus transplants in India, performed on May 18 and 19 in Pune, has seen the city hospital that undertook these surgeries flooded with requests, especially from unmarried women. 

pune Updated: Jul 07, 2017 11:44 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, medical director of Galaxy Care Laparoscopy Institute, said that out of the 75 patients who have already visited the hospital, 41 were unmarried.
Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, medical director of Galaxy Care Laparoscopy Institute, said that out of the 75 patients who have already visited the hospital, 41 were unmarried. (Screengrab)

The success of the first two uterus transplants in India, performed on May 18 and 19 in Pune, has seen the city hospital that undertook these surgeries flooded with requests, especially from unmarried women. 

Hospital authorities said as of July 5, 75 women visited the hospital with queries of uterus-related problems, while 150 more have registered for an appointment. These included a few foreigners as well. 

Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, medical director of Galaxy Care Laparoscopy Institute, said that out of the 75 patients who have already visited the hospital, 41 were unmarried.

Most of them suffered from the absence of a uterus, while in the case of two patients, the vagina needed to be reconstructed.

On May 18, India’s first uterine transplant was performed successfully by Dr Puntambekar and 11 other doctors on a 21-year-old girl from Solapur. The next day the team carried out womb transplant by transplanting the uterus of a Baroda woman onto her 26-year-old daughter.

Dr Puntambekar said that among the patients coming to the hospital, in some cases the uterus had been removed due to problems in pregnancy and because of other diseases.

About the cost of transplant he said, “While the cost per patient for uterine transplant was close to ₹20 lakh, there were some good samaritans who gave donations to bring down cost per patient to around ₹5 lakh.”

Doctors confirmed that both patients who underwent transplant on May 18 and May 19 have started menstruating which indicates that transplanted uterine is functioning normally.

Legal concerns  

The success of two uterus transplants had raised several legal concerns.

Clarifying these concerns, Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, medical director at the Galaxy Care Laparoscopy Institute, Pune said, “We have received a licence from the state health department for carrying out uterus transplant surgeries for five years. Also the law is very clear and uterus transplant surgeries can only be performed on married women who are less than 35 years of age and who do not want surrogacy. This addresses legal issues involved with pregnancies.”