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Woman Who Could Not Have Sex Gets Artificial Vagina   
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A woman whose vagina was so narrow she could no longer have sex has undergone successful surgery to have it reconstructed - using a pig's intestine.

The woman had been sent for treatment after her gynaecologist found she was so narrow it was not even possible to carry out an examination. She was referred to the University Hospital in the town of Plzen, in the western Czech Republic

Doctors there decided to try out the operation after learning that a similar procedure involving pigs intestine could be used on people who had a narrow bladder. But they could find no literature or evidence that it had ever been used to help somebody like the young woman, the news agency CEN reports.

She had reported the problem after suffering from scleroderma - a condition that results in hard, thickened areas of skin and sometimes problems with internal organs and blood vessels. The condition can cause a woman's vaginal opening to constrict - making sexual function harder - and can also cause decreased sexual lubrication.

To try and help the woman, surgeons decided to carry out surgery using a technique called a Mesh Augmented Vaginal Reconstruction.

This is usually performed on women who have suffered a pelvic organ prolapse and who are experiencing symptoms such as urinary incontinence.

Because prolapse is associated with weakened internal supportive structures, a graft may be placed to strengthen the repair. The graft may be made of natural tissue, such as human donor skin or pig intestine. Pig tissue is often used because its genetic make up is similar to that of humans.

For over 30 years, scientists have been using pigs in a number of medical fields, including dermatology and cardiology. Scientists have even re-grown human leg muscles using implants made of pig bladder tissue. During surgery to treat the Czech patient, surgeons made an incision to enlarge the narrowed area.

They then used the mesh made from pig's intestine to widen the walls of the woman's vagina. And following the success of the operation, the doctors now plan to publish a scientific paper on the technique.

Vladimir Kalis, head doctor of the gynaecological-obstetrical clinic at the hospital, told CEN: 'Two years ago, the woman started to have problems during sex. 'The illness had narrowed the vaginal entrance so much that even gynaecological examinations were not possible.'

Dr Kalis said many women suffer with the same problem - but most are too embarrassed to ask for help. He said: 'In the case of the patient we operated on, she had been given various medications by her gynaecologist but nothing helped, so she referred to us.'

He acknowledged that vaginal surgery was not common and was usually to performed for the opposite problem. He added: 'The material used is referred to as pig net.'Its thickness is about one millimetre.

'Over time human tissue will be created around the net and the pig net will be absorbed by the body.'
He added that the surgery lasted about one hour and the patient left hospital after five days. Dr Kalis said: 'The patient is very happy now. The gynaecological examinations are not painful any more.

'And although we have advised her not to engage in sexual activity at the moment, she should be able to recover a full and active sex life in about two years.

'Basically, she feels like a woman again.'

Gabriela Levorova, a spokesperson for the hospital, confirmed staff had been unable to find any reference to a similar surgery being carried out anywhere else in the world, and believed it was the first of its kind. She added: 'If there was anywhere else, as far as we can find out they never published anything about it.

'It seems we are the first to publish the results of such as surgery in a professional medical publication.'
Source: dailymail.co.uk

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