India’s first uterus transplant baby goes home after two months
Meenakshi Valand, the recipient of a uterine transplant, was unable to conceive as she suffered from Asherman syndrome, a rare condition in which the uterus is damaged due to continuous curettage and other infections, affecting menstruation and pregnancy.
Meenakshi Valand, India’s first uterine transplant recipient, who underwent the transplant at Pune’s Galaxy Care Hospital last year, left for home on Thursday, with her baby Radha, born out of the transplanted uterus.
Valand, 28-years of age, returns to Jambusar, Bharuch, Gujarat. She successfully conceived after the uterine transplant, and gave birth to the baby girl on October 18, 2018. The birth weight of the child was recorded at 1.45 kg.
Valand was unable to conceive as she suffered from Asherman syndrome, a rare condition in which the uterus is damaged due to continuous curettage and other infections, affecting menstruation and pregnancy.
Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, founder of Galaxy Care hospital and the surgeon who performed India’s first uterus transplant surgery, said, “Radha, became the first baby to be born out of the transplanted uterus and she was born with a low birth weight. A neonatal care ICU managed by Dr Sandeep Kadam and his team looked after the baby 24 x 7 for the last two months and now, not only has the baby gained weight, she is totally free of infections and is healthy. She is also breast feeding.”
The baby is now weighs 2.65 kg. Dr Puntambekar added, “Her discharge was supposed to take place on Friday, but due to superstitious beliefs, Meenakshi chose the 13th to go home.”
An emotional Valand said, “I am taking home my bundle of joy which I never thought I would have.I am ecstatic. I am going home after 10 months. My stay here was similar to that of my own home. My baby received many gifts and clothes. I never thought that I would be able to fight the stigma of not bearing a child, but now I am happy to have my own baby.”
Dr Puntambekar said, “The baby was named by me here and her birth certificate has the same name. In fact, since it was a historic event for our country, we have decided to rename the room where the first uterus transplant recipient and the baby born out of the transplanted uterus stayed, as the Meenakshi- Radha room. She was put up in room number 406.”
Radha who was watched continuously by the team of paediatricians and neonatologists, developed jaundice and breathlessness at eight weeks. Dr Puntambekar said, “It is true and we managed to pull her out of the danger. Now both the mother and daughter are fine.”
As for having a second child, Meenakshi Valand said, “I have been told by doctors not to wait for more than six to eight months to have another child, but I want to enjoy being a mother to Radha as of now.”
On a second conception, Puntambekar said, “She must come back within eight months.”
“It is not good for a patient to be on medication for long after the transplant as chances of developing co-morbidities due to high doses of medication and immuno-suppresants exist.”
“For any uterus transplant recipient, it is advised that if they do not want to conceive for the second time, they have to remove the uterus to avoid complications,” he said.