Vaginal tactile imaging

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2010 Jul;57(7):1736-44. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2010.2045757. Epub 2010 May 17.


Changes in the elasticity of the vaginal walls, connective support tissues, and muscles are thought to be significant factors in the development of pelvic organ prolapse, a highly prevalent condition affecting at least 50% of women in the United States during their lifetimes. It creates two predominant concerns specific to the biomechanical properties of pelvic support tissues: how does tissue elasticity affect the development of pelvic organ prolapse and how can functional elasticity be maintained through reconstructive surgery. We designed a prototype of vaginal tactile imager (VTI) for visualization and assessment of elastic properties of pelvic floor tissues. In this paper, we analyze applicability of tactile imaging for evaluation of reconstructive surgery results and characterization of normal and pelvic organ prolapse conditions. A pilot clinical study with 13 patients demonstrated that VTI allows imaging of vaginal walls with increased rigidity due to implanted mesh grafts following reconstructive pelvic surgery and VTI has the potential for prolapse characterization and detection.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Elasticity
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques* / instrumentation
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Uterine Prolapse / physiopathology*
  • Vagina / physiology*