Stressed not at all its a matter of pride, India’s first uterus transplant team shares the experience

As they prepare for the second uterus transplant, doctors who are part of India’s first uterus transplant team say, we were not under stress. There was motivation of doing something for the society and motivation to achieve excellence in science. These two things have helped us to make our surgery a success

Team of Galaxy care hospital who performed the surgery
Team of Galaxy care hospital who performed the surgery

After the first successful uterus transplant by a team of Pune doctors, on a 21-year-old Solapur woman, the doctors said that, there are no post-operative complications observed and the blood supply to the uterus is normal. Meanwhile a proud team of doctors are confident about the second surgery which they will be performing on a 26-year-old woman from Baroda on Friday.

Stressed not at all its a matter of pride, India’s first uterus transplant team shares the experience
Dr Shailesh Puntambekar

Shailesh Puntambekar, Director of Galaxy Care and Laparoscopy Institute (GCLI), who performed the operation along with a team of 12 doctors, said, “There are two major concerns. The first one is post-operative complications. But there are no complications yet. We have joined three blood vessels and within the ten minute of its joining blood supply was normal. We have studied the Doppler today to examine the blood supply and in the morning we found that, the blood supply is absolutely normal. The second concern is now of organ’s rejection and we will be able to know about that in seven days.”

While explaining about the surgery, he added, “The surgery was done by laparoscopy, by only taking a small assistance from the open surgery technique. The entire surgical time taken was one hour for anaesthesia; four and half hours for retrieval and around four hours to prepare the bed and to fit a uterus in that area. Creating a bed, where the uterus can be inserted was a big challenge to us and this also was done with laparoscopy.

“When we do re-joining of the vessel, you have to do it in stipulated time and you cannot take more than one and half hour. We did this successfully. The donor is completely normal now. As we do not want any movement to disturb the vessels we have kept the recipient in isolation,” said Dr Puntambekar

My Medical Mantra Exclusive: From the OT of India's first uterus transplant surgery
Team of doctors performing India’s first uterus transplant

Dr Bhushan Kinholkar, Intensivist, said, “To prevent any infection we will keep the recipient in an isolated area. The area where she will be kept is sterilised so that the patient does not catch any infection.”

The second uterus transplant will be performed on a, 26-year-old woman, resident of Vadodara will be undergoing the womb transplant today (Friday, 19 May 2017). Her first baby was stillborn and after that she had three miscarriages. Two years ago, a medical examination revealed that her uterus was completely damaged and she could never be able to carry a pregnancy. Now, she wants to see whether the transplant gives her a chance to give birth to her own baby. Her mother a 41 year-old woman is the one who will be donating her uterus.

He also said that video consent of the family for the operation was taken and an idea about the risk involved was also given to them. Dr Bhushan Kinholkar added, “The entire family has supported very well. We are going to do the second one today. The lady from Vadodara is beautician and her husband is a small scale industrialist. They are educated. Both of them know what they are undergoing. We all know that we will succeed today too. We had informed both the families about the risks and had even told them that the operation might fail.”

“We were not under stress. There are chances of creating mistakes when you do operations under stress. Since last few months, every day we are meeting at 8 am and have been practicing the surgery,” Kinholkar said.

Dr Milind Telang, Gynaecologist and who was also the part of the team, said, “We have done it voluntarily and we have offered our service free of cost for the operation. There was a motivation of doing something for the society and a motivation to achieve excellence in science. These two things have helped us to make our surgery a success.”

He added, “Once you cut off the blood supply, you do not have much time. Creating a bed for the uterus to fit in and re-joining the blood vessels was the most challenging task for us.”

Dr Nikhil Agarkhedkar, Plastic, Aesthetic and Micro Vascular surgeon, said, “We all knew the anatomy of the organ but understanding it while the organ is undergoing a surgical operation is different. This was challenging this time as it was for the first time that we were doing it for uterus organ. It’s a moment of pride to be the part of the team.”

Dr Pankaj Kularni, Gynaecologist, said, “There was a lot of excitement. I have been practicing and studying for this surgery since the last six months. We were a bit tense yesterday and that was natural, as we were performing this for the first time. But, today, the entire team is confident and today’s surgery will be an easy task for us.”