Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pediatric urologist performs innovative procedure for girls with rare vaginal defects

Date:
August 18, 2010
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
A pediatric urologist has pioneered a successful surgical procedure for young girls who have absent or malformed vaginas, a condition that affects about one in 4,000 females.

A pediatric urologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center has pioneered a successful surgical procedure for young girls who have absent or malformed vaginas, a condition that affects about one in 4,000 females.

Unknown causes and certain genetic disorders can cause girls to be born with these defects, along with other birth defects that can accompany the vaginal problems, including abnormal neck, absent or malformed uterus and fallopian tubes, absent kidneys or abnormal external genitals.

"It was initially challenging to construct a treatment for something so rare," said Dr. Linda Baker, professor of urology at UT Southwestern and a surgeon at Children's Medical Center Dallas. "My goal was to develop a treatment that would lead to a natural repair at the first operation, as well as a method to correct vaginal scarring in girls and women who'd had prior, unsuccessful vaginal surgeries."

Existing procedures for these conditions include using portions of a patient's skin or lower intestine to build the vaginal walls and an external vaginal opening. Dr. Baker began studying other areas of the body for potential healthy tissue to use and discovered that interior cheek tissue, or buccal mucosa, had several similar physiological qualities to vaginal tissue in its thickness, elasticity, strength and visual similarities.

"There were many surgical methods for reconstructing the vagina, but when I began seeing these patients, I thought the results were not natural-looking and inadequate in many cases," said Dr. Baker, director of the Sarah M. and Charles E. Seay Center for Pediatric Urology. "Too many suffered with complications from these types of vaginal reconstructions, often leading to painful intercourse in adulthood."

The surgery begins by removing a portion of the top layer of cheek tissue from inside a patient's mouth. That tissue is then stretched and made into a graft that is perforated, much like a skin graft. Once complete, the graft is wrapped around a plastic mold and fitted inside the patient's body.

"After a week or so, the mold is removed, and the graft is vascularized," Dr. Baker said. "The tissue cells fill in the gaps, and the new vagina becomes complete. The mouth heals quickly, and no one can see any scars from the surgery."

Because the tissue comes from the patient's own body, there is no risk of rejection, and the vagina functions similarly to a natural vagina. Another major advantage to the surgical procedure is that it can be done with minimal damage to surrounding tissue. Patients undergoing the older methods for vaginal reconstruction may require surgery that involves entering the abdomen, which means recovery is much longer. Those procedures carry a higher risk of postsurgical complications, something minimized for women who have the buccal mucosa graft.

In some women, the uterus and fallopian tubes are malformed or damaged from trapped menses behind a malformed or blocked vagina. In these cases, Dr. Baker teams up with Dr. Ellen Wilson, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern and Children's.

"In general, vaginal birth defects are something young women suffer from silently -- it is so personal. It's not something they want to talk about, which makes it harder to resolve. This isn't a common problem, but it's a serious one that doesn't receive much attention," Dr. Baker said. "So far we've done 23 of these procedures with minimal complications, and we're hopeful this becomes a more and more common way to treat these patients."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Pediatric urologist performs innovative procedure for girls with rare vaginal defects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100818112711.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2010, August 18). Pediatric urologist performs innovative procedure for girls with rare vaginal defects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100818112711.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Pediatric urologist performs innovative procedure for girls with rare vaginal defects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100818112711.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins