While the doctors around the world, usually take 12-14 hours to perform a uterus transplant surgery, the entire womb transplant on Friday (May 20) was done in just seven hours by the team of Pune doctors.
The first womb transplant in Pune took around nine hours, while the second one took just seven hours. The surgery commenced at 2 pm. It took 45 minutes for anaesthesia, three hours and fifteen minutes for retrieval of donated uterus, one hour for removal of dysfunctional uterus and two hours for transplant. The ‘bench surgery’ where the donor’s blood is flushed out from all the vessels was performed in half an hour.
Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, Director of Galaxy Care and Laparoscopy Institute (GCLI), who performed the operation along with a team of twelve doctors, said, “When it the surgery is prolonged, additional anaesthesia is required for the patient. It leads to an increase in the hospitalization and recovery process is lengthened. Globally it takes around 10 to 12 hours for a uterus transplant, but yesterday we did it in just seven hours.”
The second womb transplant was performed on Friday (May 19) on a 26-year-old, resident of Vadodara at Galaxy Care and Laparoscopy Institute, Pune. The woman who suffered from dysfunctional uterus was fitted with her 45-year-old mother’s womb that was retrieved by mainly using the laparoscopy technique.
Puntambekar, an Oncosurgeon, has developed laparoscopic radical hysterectomy for cancer of the cervix — known as the ‘Pune technique’. When asked about what helped the team to reduce the duration of time for the surgery, he said, “It is my experience in the field of cervix cancer that has helped me and my team to perform womb transplant in the shortest time period. I have performed extensive surgeries of cervix cancer and it has helped me a lot in this surgery.”
Dr Milind Telang, gynaecologist, part of the transplant team, said, “Initial experience has helped us. We were more coordinated this time. Though, we did not have to create bed in the second surgery as the uterus was already there in the recipient’s body, we had to remove it. The removal of diseased uterus took one hour. Around 80 per cent of the removal of the diseased uterus was laparoscopic.”
Both the surgeries are also the first such womb transplants performed primarily using laparoscopy technique. Puntambekar said, “We did this surgery with only 5 cc blood loss and using laparoscopy technique. Around 80 per cent of the retrieval was done by using laparoscopy method and 20 per cent was done by using open surgery method. In the second case, for the removal of diseased uterus also we used the same laparoscopy technique.”
Telang added, “The condition of both the donor and recipient is stable and they are kept on a liquid diet. The recipient from Vadodara is recovering fast. Her first two deliveries were stillbirths and then she underwent two miscarriages. About two years ago, a medical examination revealed that her uterus was completely damaged and she could never carry a pregnancy to full term. Whether her body has accepted transplanted uterus or not will be clear after a week.”
Meanwhile, Puntambekar informed that Doppler test of both the recipients are normal and the blood supply to the uterus is proper.