A 35-year-old transgender woman who wishes to go simply by Maju has become the 'first in the world' to successfully undergo complete vaginal constructive surgery in a proceedure that involves using the skin of the tilapia fish.
Maju previously underwent sex reassignment surgery back in 1999; however, following the procedure, her vagina began to shrink and collapse over time.
The result was that sex with her partner, from whom she is now divorced, was agony and so she resigned herself to a life of celibacy.
However, the successful procedure has enabled her to become sexually active again!
Talking three weeks after the surgery was successfully completed, Maju had this to say:
'I’m absolutely thrilled with the result. For the first time in my life I feel complete and like a real woman.'
The procedure, which is called neovaginoplasty, takes three hours to complete and involves wrapping the skin of the freshwater fish around a tubular acrylic mould which is then inserted into an incision where the vagina would be.
The fish skin is sterilized and odor-free and contains a substance which encourages healing while being as strong, resilient and elasticated as human skin.
The membrane surrounding the tilapia fish skin attach to the walls of the vaginal canal by acting like stem cells, which causes the formation of a cellular tissue similar to an actual vagina according to reports. A device described as being akin to a 'big tampon' is then inserted for roughly 6 months to prevent the vaginal walls from closing.
I wish I knew more about biology to be able to explain it in more detail but it's all fantastically technical, it really is amazing what science is capable of these days! The man behind the operation is one Professor Leonardo Bezerra (pictured below) from the Federal University of Ceara.
Speaking to the Daily Mail Professor Bezarra said:
'We were able create a vagina of physiological length, both in thickness and by enlarging it, and the patient has recovered extremely well [...] She is walking around with ease, has no pain and is urinating normally. In a couple months we believe she will be able to have sexual intercourse.'
This procedure has been used several times previously to treat women with under-developed or absent vagina's and uteruses.
Last year, 23-year-old Jucilene Marinho underwent the procedure and became the first woman to have her vaginal canal reconstructed in this manner. She had previously been diagnosed with having no cervix, uterus, ovaries, or womb in her teens.
Fish skin is used for many things in modern medicine, including even being occasionally used to treat second-degree burns...
Professor Bezarra also explained that women who have undergone a sex change can be particularly susceptible to vaginal tract closure due to the fact that, 'in the traditional procedure, most of the inside parts of the penis are removed and the penile skin is folded into the space between the urethra and the rectum. The outside skin of the penis then becomes the inside of the vagina. But because the patient has had hormonal treatment to develop female characteristics, there is penile and testicle atrophy resulting in shrinkage in the size of the penis caused from the loss of tissue.'
It is truly amazing what medical science can do for people these days! Hopefully this woman will be able to resume her life feeling more comfortable! What do you make of this story, let me know in the comments. AAx