Media Coverage of Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar and Galaxy Care Hospital

Pune’s Galaxy Care Hospital Soon to Perform India’s First Womb Transplants

Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar

On 13th and 14th will be a reality in India. A hospital from Pune is all set to carry out India’s 1st womb transplants. Three mothers will be donating their uteri to their daughters. Successful womb transplant will allow them to bear their own children.

Pune’s Galaxy Care Hospital has been granted a license by the state’s directorate of health services to carry out the uterus transplant. 25 attempts have been made out around the world out of which less than 10 successful post-transplant pregnancies are known. The first womb transplant surgery was with live donor was performed in Sweden.

Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar, medical director and onco surgeon said, “We have been aspiring to carry out the challenging surgery since we learned about Sweden’s success. A meticulous process was followed to choose the three donors and recipients.”

Galaxy Care Hospital is likely to beat of Bengaluru's Milann-International Institute for Training and Research in Reproductive Health. They too, along with Galaxy Care Hospital, got a go-ahead from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to do the transplant for two women. The fertility centre has tied up with pioneer of uterus transplant, Dr. Mats Bronnstrom of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, to carry out the procedures.

Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar and his team first practiced on human cadavers in Tubungen in Germany and also in the US. Later they met the Swedish team credited with the first transplant and spent a few days learning the actual protocol.

Talking on the recipients, Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar said, “Out of the three recipients, one has a congenital absence of uterus. Another one suffers from scarring (adhesions) of the uterus (Asherman's syndrome) and the other woman's uterus was removed due to cancer three years ago. The donors are their own mothers and the first transplants are going to be conducted for free.”

Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar holds the highest number of laparoscopic radical hysterectomies in the world on his name.

While talking to TOI, a spokesperson from the Bengaluru facility said, “We would be carrying out the procedures as part of a clinical trial. We are very close to carrying out the first two cases. We had a stringent inclusion and exclusion criteria as per the centre in Sweden, who would be handholding us to carry out the transplants.”

Galaxy Care Hospital is preparing for the transplant for months. Apart from the usual pre-operative protocols, the recipient is made to undergo ovulation stimulation by pre-planned IVF for oocyte retrieval. The frozen embryos are prepared and kept ready for implantation, if and when the transplant becomes successful. Simultaneously, a course of immunosuppresant is started to bring down chances of rejection of the transplanted uterus in the recipients body. On the other hand, the donor too is prepped for hysterectomy.

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About Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar