A woman has become the first trans person in the world to undergo successful vaginal reconstruction using fish.
Identified only as Maju, 35, she had surgery using a tilapia after her vagina began to shrink following a botched gender reassignment operation in 1999.
She said that sex with her then partner had become painful and resigned herself to a life of celibacy.
But then Maju heard about a procedure called neovaginoplasty which involves the use of a tube-shaped acrylic mould, wrapped with the skin of the tilapia that would rebuild and extend her vaginal canal.
Speaking about her experience, she said: ‘I was the fourth person in Brazil in 1999 to have, what was then, experimental surgery. But ten years ago I developed vaginal stenosis. The opening of my vagina started to get narrower and shorter and the canal collapsed.’
Three weeks after treatment Maju said: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled with the result. For the first time in my life I feel complete and like a real woman.
Maju, a florist in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was looked after by Professor Leonardo Bezerra. He 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.’
Maju had been suffering a rare congenital vaginal condition called Rokitansky syndrome. Prof Bezerra has treated 10 women with the condition that causes the vagina or uterus to be underdeveloped or absent.