Nine womb transplants done in Pune since 2017, 250 more in line
After a gap of two years, womb transplants in the city have started, although no specific guidelines have been issued
After a gap of two years, womb transplants in the city have started, although no specific guidelines have been issued. Pune-based doctors who performed India’s first womb transplant said, so far, nine transplants have been done this year in Pune, while 250 patients are in line.
While a kidney transplant racket at a city-based hospital has pushed more stringent rules to check the transplant procedure, a separate framework related to womb transplant has not been formed, said doctors.
Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, medical director at city-based Galaxy Care Hospital, said that since 2017, there have been nine uterine transplants conducted by his team. In all these cases, uterus was transferred either from mother, sister or cousin with recipients mostly of 35 years of age or less.
Puntambekar was also part of the team of doctors that recently conducted two transplant surgeries in Gujarat and the team has been given permission to perform womb transplant at West Bengal as well.
Dr Bharti Daswani, superintendent at BJ General Medical College and Sassoon Hospital and chairman of the Regional Authorisation Committee said that the committee has not received any proposals for womb transplant.
“Since this is the new committee, we have not received any proposals. The guidelines for all transplants are similar. If a proposal comes, we will conduct a meeting and scrutinise the documents of the donors and recipients just like other proposals,” said Dr Daswani. Officials confirmed that the previous committee had received womb transplant proposals and had followed the due process.
“We had received a special license in 2017 from the then state government to conduct the transplant. Just like every transplant licence it will be renewed every five years. We are expected to get the renewed licence in the next seven to 10 days,” said Dr Puntambekar.
He added there were two transplants done in 2017, one which delivered a child in 2018. There have so far been 93 transplants worldwide.
The first two successful uterine transplants were conducted in Pune in May 2017. And the third was completed by the team of surgeons in January 2018. Uterine transplants were stopped during the pandemic.
Dr Meenakshi Deshpande, president, Indian medical association (IMA), Pune chapter, a gynecologist and a member of the Regional Authorisation Committee at Sassoon General Hospital said that the transplant guidelines are similar for womb transplant.
“The only difference in womb transplant is that it has to be done with an altruistic aim that is within the family. Also, after the baby is born, the uterus is removed as it is not an essential organ. Rest all the guidelines and documentation are same as that of other transplants,” said Dr Deshpande.