MIAMI – Researchers in Brazil used the skin of a Tilapia fish to reconstruct a vaginal canal for a 23-year-old woman who was born without one.
Jucilene Marinho was born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster-Hauser, a congenital disorder that affects 1 in 4,500 girls, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. She told the FocusOn News Agency that she was diagnosed at 15.
Years after a gynecologist told her there was connective tissue blocking the vaginal opening, Marinho turned to the Universidade Federal do Ceará and several doctors including Dr. Leonardo Bezerra for help.
She was one of three women who underwent a neovaginoplasty, a surgical procedure usually associated with genital reassignment surgery in male to female transsexuals.
For the procedure, UFC researchers treated the fish's skin to turn it into cellular tissue that was later molded with silicone. The skin was already being used to help burn victims.