Lab-grown vaginas implanted by US doctors

A medical breakthrough in the United States has seen four women having new vaginas grown in the laboratory and implanted by doctors.
All of the women had been born with a condition known as vaginal aplasia in which the vagina did not form properly while they were in their mother’s womb.
Existing treatments for the condition can involve surgically creating a cavity, which is then lined with skin grafts or parts of the intestine.
But pioneering technology was used by doctors at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina to construct vaginas for the four women who were all in their teenage years at the time of the procedures.
The new development, published in the Lancet medical journal, was hailed by experts as the latest example of the power of regenerative medicine.
In the procedures, a tissue sample and a biodegradable scaffold were used to grow vaginas the right size and shape for each woman as well as provide a tissue match.
The vaginas were grown in a bioreactor until they were ready to be surgically implanted into the patients.
While this is the first time the results have been reported, the first implants took place eight years ago. Since then, all the women have reported normal sexual function.
Vaginal aplasia can lead to other abnormalities in the reproductive organs, but in two of the women the vagina was connected to the uterus.
Although there have been no pregnancies, it is theoretically possible for those women.
Dr Anthony Atala, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest, told the BBC News website: “Really for the first time we’ve created a whole organ that was never there to start with, it was a challenge.”
Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Basel in Switzerland have used similar techniques to reconstruct the noses of patients after skin cancer. The development could replace the need to take cartilage from the ribs or ears in order to rebuild the damage caused by cutting the cancer away.
Prof Martin Birchall, who has worked on lab-grown windpipes, commented: “These authors have not only successfully treated several patients with a difficult clinical problem, but addressed some of the most important questions facing translation of tissue engineering technologies.
“The steps between first-in-human experiences such as those reported here and their use in routine clinical care remain many, including larger trials with long-term follow-up, the development of clinical grade processing, scale-out, and commercialisation.”
Meanwhile, the BBC’s health and science reporter James Gallagher described the development as “an exciting glimpse into the future of medicine.”
“Using living tissue as building material to transform the lives of patients has already happened with bladders, blood vessels and windpipes. Now you can add vaginas and noses to the list,” he commented.
“There are even attempts to make more complex organs. Weakly beating hearts, and kidneys that can produce urine, have been made in animal studies. But this is still a long way from being used in humans.
“Expect 3D printing to revolutionise this field as the technology to precisely place both the cells and the scaffolding improves.” (BBC News)

Share your feedback with us.

4 Responses to Lab-grown vaginas implanted by US doctors

  1. MHyacinth says:

    How small minded can an individual be to absolutely miss the significance and usefulness of such an medical breakthrough? As is usual an infantile individual has reduced this very serious subject to a lower level – as seen in the previous email. Grow up please!!

    • Fer De Lance says:

      Get over your self importance, if you can’t have a little laugh you must be so righteous that anything involving sex upsets you. To me modern medicine is pretty cool, that somone took the interest in creating a better Pussy cat, I love science, maybe bigger bamboo might be next on the production line.

  2. dan says:

    Doesn’t taste the same

  3. Fer De Lance says:

    So soon you can grow one and won’t have to be married, in fact all the mal mamas can now have a dream come true.

← Go Back | Headlines | Health Back to Top ↑
THE STAR Newspaper
Magazines available in THE STAR Newspaper
2nite Magazine
Sports & Health Inc

Lifestyle & Archives

  • 2Nite Magazine TV

    2Nite Magazine's Candid Camera

    You never know where 2Nite Magazine will capture you next. You may very well be the next one 'caught on candid camera' at the next event!! If its HIP and its HAPPENING, then its in 2Nite! Hosted by: Faye-Chantelle Mondesir (Empress Faye)

    Posted by 2nite Magazine on Friday, 22 January 2016
  • Contact us via WhatsApp with news on 1 758 720 2896

    What's App
    Send us your news or contact us with your story via What's App.
  • Sound your voice and cast your ballot!

  • Poll for the week

    See all polls and results
  • TALK or VENT here!

    TALK or VENT constructively and share your feedback on our weekly news and stories. CONSTRUCTIVE talk is welcome. You have a voice with The STAR Newspaper!
    TALK or VENT constructively and share your feedback on our weekly news and stories. CONSTRUCTIVE talk is welcome. You have a voice with The STAR Newspaper!
  • Subscribe for latest news and updates

    Enter your email address to subscribe and receive latest news and updates via email.

  • The St.Lucia STAR Newspaper

  • STAR Articles