19 May 2017
A 43-year-old mother has successfully donated her womb to her 21-year-old daughter, who was born without a uterus, with the hopes that her child can experience childbirth.
The surgery was the first of its kind in India and was performed by a team of doctors at Pune’s Galaxy Care Hospital in the city of Pune in south-west India.
The womb transfer took place on Thursday, led by the hospital’s Medical Director, Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar. It lasted for nine and a half hours in total and both mother and daughter are fine and in recovery.
The 21-year-old will have to wait for one year to give her body enough time to heal and adjust to the new uterus before she considers trying to get pregnant via in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
She is currently under observation and will be kept in Intensive Care Unit for some days.
“The patient was born without a uterus and she wanted to have her own baby and was not ready for adoption or surrogacy.
“Since they knew about the uterus transplant, they approached us and accepted the surgery option,” Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar said.
“Fortunately, her mother was found to be a medically suitable uterus donor for her.”
He added: “The procedure is difficult because multiple large arteries are to be joined there, and veins that are small and short. It is technically very tough.”
According to Dr. Mats Brännström, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg, only six babies have ever been delivered from a uterus transplant – two from the same mother.
It remains to be seen whether India’s first transplant will result in a birth though Dr. Puntambekar said he felt “relaxed and confident” that it will happen for his patient.