Malibu Times- May 2015

malibu times-lagasse and tarnay


Dr. Christopher Tarnay directs the division of pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at UCLA. He’s also one of the few surgeons in the world who can repair complex fistulas.

Fistulas occur as a result of a birth or obstetric injury. During a long and difficult labor, especially with a large baby, a hole can develop between the bladder, rectum (sometimes both) and the birth canal that allows urine and sometimes stool to leak uncontrollably. In 80 percent of these cases, the baby dies.

It rarely happens in the United States because when there’s an obstructed labor that could cause a fistula, the baby is delivered by cesarean section. But in remote African villages, women can be hours, perhaps days away from a hospital.

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