Surgeons at Assis Chateaubriand Maternity School, Brazil, have performed vaginal reconstruction surgery with fish skin on women born without cervix, uterus or ovaries.
Before use, the fish skin undergoes a special cleaning and sterilization process followed by radiation exposure to kill viruses.
This removes all flakes and odors from the skin and leaves a light-colored gel dressing that can be stored for up to two years in a cooled, sterile package.
Tilapia fish skin is used in the surgery
Why is the fish skin method used?
The & # 39; fish skin method & # 39; is considered less invasive than the traditional technique to create a vaginal canal with skin grafts from the groin of the patient.
Dr. Leonardo Bezerra of the Assis Chateaubriand Maternity School said: & # 39; This procedure can be time-consuming and painful because the patient has to recover from a large incision that leaves a scar that can be ugly and stigmatizing.
& # 39; There is also the possibility of discomfort with the reconstructed tissue. & # 39;
Fish skin surgery also has a faster recovery rate with no visible scars or the risk of rejection or infection.
Patients can usually walk after about 12 days, with the fungus being replaced with silicone or a sponge for comfort.
Traditional surgery requires that patients spend weeks in the hospital and essentially learn to walk again.
What does the procedure entail?
Dr. Bezerra said: & # 39; To the & # 39; To create a new vagina, we add a vagina-shaped acrylic shape, lined with the skin of tilapia, into the space created between the bladder and the rectum.
& # 39; The device remains there for 10 days to prevent the walls from closing.
& # 39; During this period, the skin of the tilapia is absorbed and the cells and growth factors released through the membrane transform, like stem cells, into the tissue cells of the patient.
& # 39; Finally, the patient's body fully absorbs the tilapia skin and thereby becomes biocompatible.
& # 39; The fish skin stimulates cell growth and blood vessel formation and creates a new channel similar to that of a real vagina. & # 39;
Why are tilapia fish used?
Tilapia fish are readily available in the rivers and farms of Brazil.
Their skin, which is usually discarded, contains large amounts of moisture and is rich in collagen, which promotes healing.
It is also disease-resistant and as strong as human skin.
Tilapia skin has previously been used to heal more than 200 victims with severe burns without the use of gauze pads that must be replaced regularly.
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