Soviflex vaginal retractor developed for vaginal repair

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Catherine Buerchner, MD, co-founder of Birch Concepts, LLC, discusses how the Soviflex vaginal retractor can help clinicians conduct vaginal repair.

Catherine Buerchner, MD:

So I'm Dr. Catherine Buerchner. I'm a full-time practicing obstetrician and gynecologist in San Diego, and I'm here today to talk to you about the soviflex, which is a self-retaining vaginal retractor.

Contemporary OB/GYN:

Thank you for speaking with me today. To get started, can you provide an overview of the soviflex retractor and its function?

Catherine Buerchner, MD:

The soviflex is a soft, silicone, flexible retractor that’s self-retaining that can be placed in the vagina after a vaginal delivery to facilitate visualization and help speed and repair of a laceration. It's useful for first- and second-degree lacerations as well as vaginal sulcus tears. It comes packaged in a sterile packaging. When you take it out of the package, you can see that it's flexible. There's a textured side as well as a ridge side, and when you place it in the introitus, you're actually going to bend it in an upside-down U fashion. You're going to insert it into vaginally right inside the introitus with the rich side on the outside, and then this helps hold open the vaginal tissues.

Contemporary OB/GYN:

So why was the retractor developed and what benefits will it have in OBGYN?

Catherine Buerchner, MD:

The soviflex was essentially developed to eliminate the need for a physician to hold open the vaginal tissues themselves while suturing with 1 hand. So, the soviflex retractor allows 2-handed suturing. This provides visualization which speeds repair of the delivery, laceration, minimizes blood loss, and helps prevent needle sticks. In a teaching situation, when you have the silver flecks in place, the teaching attending physician or midwife no longer has to hold open the vaginal tissues for the student while they're repairing the laceration. Now the attending physician or midwife can actually focus on teaching the student proper suture technique, proper repair of the laceration, and also prevents suture needle sticks.

Contemporary OB/GYN:

And could you briefly go over the origins and risks of vaginal tearing?

Catherine Buerchner, MD:

So, essentially, of a vaginal delivery, 70% of patients have a vaginal laceration after the delivery. It's important to repair these lacerations because then we can minimize blood loss and facilitate repair of normal anatomy.

Contemporary OB/GYN:

And how does soviflex differ from other products on the market in helping patients with vaginal tearing?

Catherine Buerchner, MD:

Other products on the market, some of them are metal, some of them require an assistant. The soviflex retractor is silicone based, it's flexible, it does not provide any additional trauma to the vaginal tissues. You can use the soviflex after every single vaginal delivery to provide visualization and facilitate repair of your first- or second-degree laceration. It's also useful for sulcus tears, vaginal sulcus tears.

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