Worked in a team to develop a minimally-invasive device to enable temporary full continence for patients with VVFs that is deployable by community members in low-resource areas.
Vesicovaginal fistulas (VVFs) are abnormal connections between the vagina and bladder. They disrupt the lives of millions of people worldwide due to resulting incontinence and infections that occur before corrective surgery is administered. VVFs are commonly effectively treated with surgery; however, the patient must wait several months until the fistula tissue has healed. In low resource areas, the immediate incontinence often leads to ostracization from the community, and can be devastating for the patient. We have designed a solution to occlude the fistula and enable full continence until the patient is able to access surgery. The device successfully withstands typical bladder pressures, and it can be easily deployed by community members.
Our paper on this work was published in the Journal of Medical Devices and can be read here.