Daily Bruin- February 2016

Every year, a small city in Uganda transforms into a center of free surgery for patients who suffer a painful, unusual complication from childbirth – a hole torn between the birth canal and the bladder or rectum.

Since 2009, Christopher Tarnay has traveled to Uganda for two weeks each year with a team of eight to 12 UCLA doctors, nurses and residents who perform surgery to repair obstetric fistula.

Obstetric fistula, or vaginal fistula, results from a physical blockage during childbirth that prevents the newborn from properly exiting from the pelvis. Obstetric fistula leads to incontinence, an uncontrollable leakage of feces and urine from the body, and often results in social isolation.

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