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Lab-grown Vaginas Implanted in 4 Women.

Saturday, April 12th, 2014


        Plastic Surgeons have been constructing vaginas for many years in women with congenital  absence, in sexual reassignment and after loss in cancer surgery or injury. This reconstruction, until now has been by use of a skin graft that has the potential of creating a large scar at the place from where the graft was taken. Anything that reduces the risk of scar is a welcome addition to our reconstructive abilities.

        The Wall Street Journal (4/11, Naik, Subscription Publication) reports that researchers have transplanted lab-grown vaginas into four teen girls, according to a paper published in the Lancet.

 FOX News (4/11, Woerner) reports on its website that the girls “suffered from severe forms of” Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome.

        The AP (4/11, Cheng, Ritter) reports that the “researchers took a tissue sample less than half the size of a postage stamp from the patients’ genitals.” The researchers then “multiplied cells from this tissue in the lab, seeded them onto a biodegradable scaffold and molded it into the right size and shape for each patient before implantation.”

        On its website, NBC News (4/11, Aleccia) reports, “Within six months, the biodegradable scaffolding had dissolved and the new organs had taken hold so thoroughly they were indistinguishable from native tissue.” The researchers found that, “after as long as eight years, tissue biopsies, MRI scans and internal exams showed that the new organs were functioning normally.”

        Newsweek (4/11, Bekiempis) reports, “In a questionnaire on female sexual function, the women said they had ‘normal sexual function after the treatment, including desire and pain-free intercourse.’”

        The Huffington Post (4/11, Chan) reports that a separate paper published in the Lancet “details the first reports of nostrils being engineered by scientists for five people who had skin cancer that damaged their noses.” It has “been five years since those reconstructive surgeries, and all of the patients can breathe and are happy with how their noses look.”

        HealthDay (4/11, Thompson) reports that physicians “from the research team said the same technology could be used to engineer cartilage for reconstruction of eyelids, ears and knees.” Also reporting on one or both papers are Reuters (4/11, Steenhuysen), theTIME (4/11, Sifferlin) website, the National Journal (4/11, Resnick, Subscription Publication), and US News & World Report (4/11, Neuhauser).