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Reconstructive urologist from Africa discusses obstetrical fistula repair and its social stigma

Igor Vaz, MD (photo by Jim Howe)

Igor Vaz, MD (photo by Jim Howe)

Dmitriy Nikolavsky, MD (photo by Jim Howe)

Dmitriy Nikolavsky, MD
(photo by Jim Howe)

Pregnant women who go through prolonged labor without assistance are in danger of developing an obstetrical fistula, in which a hole forms between the bladder and vagina or the rectum and vagina. This can be corrected through reconstructive surgery. Igor Vaz, MD, the founder of Focus Fistula Mozambique, traveled from Africa to speak at Upstate about his efforts to prevent and treat fistulas. In this interview, he describes the medical issues and social stigmas involved and prevention and education efforts. Accompanying him in the interview is urologist Dmitriy Nikolavsky, MD, the director of reconstructive urology at Upstate.