Doctors in India successfully transplanted a 43-year-old woman's womb to her daughter, so that she could experience childbirth.
In what might be one of the most poignant medical procedures you've heard about lately, a 43-year-old woman in Pune, India offered her uterus to her 21-year-old daughter who was born without one. The womb was transplanted in the young woman in the first surgery of its kind in the country, CNN reports.
The hospital's medical director, Dr. Shailesh Puntambekar, who led the procedure said, "The patients are fine. The surgery took nine and a half hours in total."
That said, there are a variety of questions that remain. The daughter will need to wait a year and allow her body to adjust to her uterus before she can try to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization (IVF). And only six babies have ever been delivered from a uterine transplant—two from the same mom, according to Dr. Mats Brännström, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
The first womb transplant here in the U.S. was attempted last year, but failed, reportedly due to a sudden complication related to a yeast infection.
Including this latest procedure in India, there have only been 30 attempts at uterine transplants globally. Clearly, it's a very new and complicated surgery, and there's much room for advancement, with so much at stake for the women involved.
Dr. Puntambekar, who said he feels "responsibility on his shoulders," shared this heartrending truth with CNN: "We are responsible for the patient and fulfilling their dreams of becoming a mother, which was impossible for them until now." We can only wait and hope that, one day, those dreams become a reality for this young woman and others who are on the cutting edge of medical technology.