Just when you thought you had a handle on what ‘human ingenuity’ really meant… something like this comes along and blows you away.
Medical science just came through for a young lady who can now enjoy one of the simpler pleasures of having a normal life.
She was born without reproductive organs. Medical science to the rescue!
But we gotta warn you — the solution was, shall we say, ‘unorthodox’.
Jucilene Marinho, 23, from Ceará, Brazil, underwent a neovaginoplasty in April last year after being born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hause (MRKH) left her with no cervix, uterus or ovaries.
The procedure, performed at the Federal University of Ceara involved creating an opening where Ms Marinho’s vagina should have been before inserting a genital-shaped mould lined with the skin of the freshwater fish tilapia.
Yes. You read that correctly.
That said “tilapia”.
And it was a success!
Watch the Tilapia skin be prepared for use in the surgery:
After spending three weeks in hospital, Ms Marinho – the first of four patients given the procedure – was discharged and is now thrilled with the results.
She said: ‘My family and friends took me out to “toast” my new vagina!’
Ms Marinho, who spiraled into a deep depression when she thought she would never have an intimate relationship, has even been able to have sex for the first time with her boyfriend of over a year Marcus Santos, 24.
She added: ‘It was a wonderful moment because everything worked perfectly. There was no pain just a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction.’
And you thought YOU had some awkward conversations at family gatherings.
Imagine being this guy?
The article went on to describe the process itself:
Surgeons at the Assis Chateaubriand Maternity School, Brazil, have performed vaginal reconstruction surgery using fish skin in four women born without a cervix, uterus or ovaries. Ms Marinho was the first to undergo the procedure.
Before being used, the fish skin undergoes a special cleaning and sterilisation process followed by radiation exposure to kill any viruses.
The process removes all the skin’s scales and odour, leaving behind a light-coloured gel dressing that can be stored for up to two years in refrigerated, sterile packaging.
The ‘fish-skin method’ is considered less invasive than the traditional technique of creating a vaginal canal using skin grafts from patients’ groins.
Dr Leonardo Bezerra, from the Assis Chateaubriand Maternity School, said: ‘This procedure can be time consuming and painful as the patient needs to recover from a large incision which leaves a scar that can be unsightly and stigmatising.
‘There is also the possibility of discomfort with the reconstructed tissue.’
The fish-skin surgery also has a faster recovery rate with no visible scars, or risks of rejection or infections.
Patients are typically able to walk after around 12 days, with the mould being replaced with silicone or a sponge for comfort.
Traditional surgery requires patients to spend weeks in hospital and essentially relearn how to walk.
We’ll not be supplying any of the obvious comments that could arise from this most unusual story. But with a quick-witted audience like ours… you probably would have beat us to any of the punchlines anyway.
All kidding aside… the fact that we can now restore a woman troubled with a problem like this — and allow her to enjoy that most intimate of relationships — is nothing short of amazing.
But we just gotta ask:
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