Ear Hustle

Laboratory Grown Vaginas Successfully Transplanted Into Patients

 How do you feel now that scientists are successfully implanting laboratory grown vaginas in people?</p><br /><br />
<p>Source: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/laboratory-grown-vaginas-succesfully-transplanted-patients
Tissue engineered hearts and lungs may be still at the laboratory stage, but replacement vaginas made from the  patient’s own cells have been around for a while. A paper in the  Lancet confirms they continue to work years after surgery.
The four patients in the study had Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser (MRKH)  syndrome, which affects women who are genetically and hormonally normal but have  an absent or greatly shortened vagina. MRKH may also produce a missing or  defective cervix and uterus. Sex is usually painful for women with the condition  and more than half a million are affected worldwide.
While we are some way from being able to enable women most with MRKH to  conceive, the Wake Forest School of Medicine created sheets from biodegradable  scaffolds and epithelial and muscle cells of four girls aged 13-18 with MRKH.  These were then “hand-sewn into a vagina-like shape” in the authors’ words and  implanted. Each vagina was shaped by the Federico Gomez Children’s Hospital,  Mexico, to best match the body of the woman it was for.
Follow-ups over the next 6-8 years using physical examination, tissue  biopsies and MRIs indicated that blood vessels had connected to the implant and  within months new cells formed spontaneously while the scaffold was slowly  absorbed. A tri-layered structure remained in place after the scaffolding was  gone and no abnormalities were observed.  The women responded to a  questionnaire with responses in the normal range in regard to arousal,  lubrication, orgasm and painless intercourse. Most significantly, the patients  reported high satisfaction with the replacement vaginas.
Other existing treatments for MRKH are much more traumatic and have a high  rate of failure and complication. Team leader Anthony Atala has used a similar  technique to build replacement bladders for nine children in need, and has  implanted urethras in boys, although there is yet to be the long-term  confirmation of success in that case.
This pilot study is the first to demonstrate that vaginal organs can be  constructed in the lab and used successfully in humans,” Atala said. “This may  represent a new option for patients who require vaginal reconstructive  surgeries. In addition, this study is one more example of how regenerative  medicine strategies can be applied to a variety of tissues and organs.”
“I truly feel fortunate, because I’ll have a normal life,” a patient who  wished to remain anonymous said in a video provided by the Federico Gomez  Hospital . “It’s important to let other girls that have the same problem know  that it does not end knowing that you have the disease, because there is a  treatment.”  Besides MRKH the process could be suitable for women whose  vaginas have been damaged in trauma or by cancer. The announcement has generated  excitement in the trans community.

Source:  iflscience.com



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