India’s first womb transplant embroiled in controversy


The two women who underwent a uterus transplant at Pune’s Galaxy Care Laparoscopy Institute (GCLI) few days back are said to be doing well, having shown no sign of organ rejection.
As per a report in DNA, both the women in their early 20s have passed the critical period of the first eight days when the chances of organ rejection is the highest.
Doctors said their biological mothers who donated their uterus would soon leave the hospital although both the recipients will continue to stay as they require close monitoring for the coming few months.
“Acute rejection of the organs can take place in the first 48 hours while the delayed rejection can take place in the next 7-8 days. The patients have crossed both these milestones and all of them are very well,” Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, medical director of the hospital, was quoted as saying by DNA.
Dr Puntambekar also said that the biopsy of both the women to test organ rejection was also normal.
On May 18, a 21-year-old woman from Solapur, who received her mother’s womb, became the first person to undergo a uterus transplant in India so that she can conceive normally. The second procedure was carried out on May 19 on a 24-year-old beautician from Vadodara, who also received her mother’s womb.
Meanwhile, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said Pune’s GCLI did not seek its permission for the country’s first procedure.​
“No permission was sought by the Pune-based hospital. Till now, ICMR has approved uterus transplant only as an experimental procedure under a research protocol. Only a Bengaluru-based facility has been granted this permission,” ICMR director general Dr Soumya Swaminathan told TOI.
To carry out a uterus transplant, the protocol includes approval from a registered ethics committee as well as from ICMR. However, as reported, GCLI did not get ICMR’s approval for the procedure, it only got a licence from the state’s directorate of health services.
Pune’s GCLI, however, insisted that no permission is required for clinical procedures.
Earlier, there were reports that about 21 women have already registered for the procedure at the Pune hospital following the successful womb transplant surgeries last week.