MARTIUS FAT PAD GRAFT
What is it?
Transfer of fatty tissue normally found in the labia majora through a tunnel to around the female urethra.
When might it be used?
It is an additional step as part of a larger operation, such as:
- removal of a urethral diverticulum
- repair of a vesicovaginal or urethrovaginal fistula
What is the advantage?
Using a Martius fat pad aims to improve the overall results of the surgery. The healthy tissue brought in may:
- improve healing
- reduce risk of fistula
- reduce risk of recurrence
How long does it take?
An extra 10-20 minutes on top of your surgery.
What tests/preparation might be required?
Only the tests ordered for your major operation – no additional tests or preparation is required.
What is the recovery?
No additional time for recovery is involved. You will have a pressure dressing and a drain overnight after surgery which is removed the next day.
What are the potential risks?
During surgery: there is a risk of bleeding or damage to nerves.
Postoperatively there is a risk of:
- labial haematoma 1-5% - this rarely needs draining in theatre
- some labial swelling is normal but can look dramatic
- the incision may be tender but is usually controlled with oral pain relief tablets
- asymmetry, which is usually not noticeable
Cosmetic results are usually excellent, with healing by 6 weeks the scar is difficult to see. Some notice some erythema or sensitivity of the labia.
Scar sensitivity can be a problem for some women, made worse by wearing tight clothes or sitting for long periods. Usually this improves. Rarely this needs specific analgesia or pain relieving injections.
You or a partner may be able to feel a soft bulkiness in the front wall of the vagina. This is the fat pad, and is a sign that it is healthy and has a good blood supply.
Version: V2, July 2013