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J Pediatr Surg. 2004 Aug;39(8):1205-8.

Bowel vaginoplasty in children: a retrospective review.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Urology, Vanderbilt University Children's Hospital, Nashville, TN, USA.



There are numerous congenital genitourinary conditions that result in vaginal agenesis or atresia. Reconstruction presents a challenge to the surgeon who wishes long-term functional and cosmetic results with low morbidity. Historically, reconstruction has involved the use of skin grafts and nonoperative methods with less than ideal results. The preference of the authors is to use intestinal segments for creating the neovagina and herein review their experience with this procedure.


The authors identified 10 children who underwent vaginal construction with intestinal segments from 1996 to the present. Patient charts were reviewed for etiology, procedure performed, operative and postoperative complications, and follow-up.


Average age at surgery was 10.9 years (1 to 29 years). Of the 10 children, 3 required vaginal construction for cloacal extrophy, and 7 had vaginal atresia of various etiology. Sigmoid colon was utilized in 6 cases, ileum in 2, and, in 2 patients with high imperforate anus, their mucous fistula segment was used to create the vagina. Mean follow-up was 24 months. Complications included a right ureteral injury necessitating placement of an indwelling ureteral stent and a girl presenting with cyclic pelvic pain who required reanastomosis of the neovagina to the uterus for an obstructed cervical os.


Intestinal segments can be used successfully for creation of a neovagina with exceptional cosmetic results and an acceptable complication rate. In appropriate patients, the mucous fistula can be used to create the vagina obviating the need for a bowel anastomosis.

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