After Pune, uterus transplants in Bengaluru

The transplants are likely to be performed by end of August

BENGALURU: City-based Milann Fertility Centre received the go-ahead from the health department to perform two uterus transplants. After Pune’s Galaxy Care Hospital performed the first two uterus transplants in May this year, around 75 women, mostly unmarried, including foreigners, visited the hospital voicing their problems in this regard, while another 150 took appointments.

Allaying the possibility of such a situation repeating in Karnataka, State Transplant Appropriate Authority Subodh Yadav said that though they have given the go-ahead for two uterus transplants in Bengaluru likely to be performed by August-end, this will be considered a research experiment and does not set legal precedence for commercialisation of the procedure. “Uterus transplants are not related to any disease or health hazards per se. There are moral and ethical concerns surrounding it. We feel we may not be the ‘appropriate’ authority to recommend it. So we have allowed these two transplants on medical research grounds but are not giving any permission for commercialisation,” Yadav said.

P S Prabhakar, member secretary, Transplant Appropriate Authority, said, “Infertility is a disease, hence we have given permission. It has been a month since we gave a go-ahead.” Express had previously reported that though Milann had received the approval from Indian Council for Medical Research, which the state government itself asked it to get, Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994, mentions that transplant procedures are to be “for therapeutic purposes”. Therapy has been defined as a systematic treatment of any disease or measures to improve health according to any particular method or modality. A uterus transplant would require the recipient to undergo three invasive procedures -- first, the transplant, second, the C-section, and third, a hysterectomy, as taking immunosuppresants lifelong is not recommended by doctors.

Dr Gautham T P, senior vice president, operations, Milann Fertility Centre, told Express, “Some formalities are pending with the state government. The transplants will be done at HCG hospital and the inspection has been done. However, dates have not been finalised.”