A new technique in the treatment of stress urinary incontinence utilizes a sling fashioned from a rectangular island of buried vaginal epithelium. We developed a model to study the natural history of vaginal wall covered by an epithelial flap in 12 rabbits sacrificed at intervals to 26 weeks. Histopathologic examination demonstrated an immediate acute inflammatory reaction. This early response was followed by formation of an epithelial lining of the potential space overlying the buried vaginal tissue. Acute inflammatory cells continued to enter this lumen until week 20, when granulomas were first detected. Histopathologic examination at twenty-six weeks showed stratified squamous epithelium lining the lumen. No deleterious inflammatory sequelae were detected, and no dysplastic or malignant changes were identified. These results suggest that buried vaginal epithelium is a safe (short term) tissue alternative for sling creation.
- urinary incontinence
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