A Brazilian woman has undergone successful
vaginal reconstruction surgery after doctors built one out of fish skin.
Jucilene Marinho, 23, was born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hause
(MRKH) which left her with no cervix, uterus or ovaries, meaning she could
never have children.
She under underwent neovaginoplasty
in April last year, a procedure that involved creating an opening where her
vagina should have been before inserting a genital-shaped mould lined with the
skin of the freshwater fish tilapia.
The fish skin then absorbed into her body
and transformed into tissue that lines the vaginal tract.
Jucilene was one of three patients to
undergo the procedure performed at the Federal University of Ceara in Brazil,
and she was thrilled with the results, “my family and friends took me out to
"toast" my new vagina!”
She was also grateful for the procedure as
it allowed her to engage in an intimate relationship with her boyfriend of over
a year, Marcus Santos, “it was a wonderful moment because everything worked
perfectly. There was no pain just a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction.”
Surgeons in Brazil believe the fish-skin
method is a better option for vaginal reconstruction surgery as opposed to the
traditional technique of creating a vaginal canal using skin grafts from
Leonardo Bezerra, from the Assis Chateaubriand Maternity School, explained
why he opts against skin grafts when it comes to vaginal surgery, “this
procedure can be time consuming and painful as the patient needs to recover
from a large incision which leaves a scar that can be unsightly and stigmatising.
There is also the possibility of discomfort with the reconstructed tissue.”