Our research focuses on female pelvic floor disorders and understanding the functional anatomy of the lower urinary tract and anal sphincter.
Our laboratory serves a dual role as (1) a training venue for in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and (2) a basic science laboratory investigating the role of injury on pelvic floor dysfunction.
What began as Dr. Wai’s fellowship thesis exploring the role of periurethral nerve injury on urinary incontinence and voiding dysfunction, has expanded into investigating the underlying mechanisms of pelvic floor dysfunction, and the relative contributions of nerve and mechanical injury.
In collaboration with Dr. Ann Word, we are currently exploring the role of mechanical trauma, denervation, pregnancy, and the effects of growth factors and myogenic stem cells on wound healing of the external anal sphincter.
Understanding some of these mechanisms, particularly with respect to anal sphincter injury, will ultimately allow us to offer more effective treatment to our patients, expedite recovery, and may shed more light on some of the factors that improve muscular healing as well as prevent or alleviate some of the physical and psychological burdens associated with anal incontinence.