Wai Lab

Meet the PI

Clifford Wai, M.D.

Clifford Wai, M.D.

Associate Professor


Research Interests

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 concerning 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.

Selected Publications

Wai CY, Liehr P, Tibbals HF, Segar M, Schaffer JI, Word RA. Effect of periurethral denervation on the female urethra. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2003; 189 (6): 1637-45.

Wai CY, Liehr P, Boreham MK, Schaffer JI, Word RA. Effect of periurethral denervation on smooth muscles of the lower urinary tract. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2004; 191 (6): 1950-60.

Wai CY, Miller RT, Word RA. Effect of prolonged vaginal distention and sphincter transection on physiologic function of the external anal sphincter in an animal model. Obstet Gynecol 2008; 111: 332-40.

Wai CY, Rahn DD, White AB, Word RA. Recovery of external anal sphincter contractile function after prolonged vaginal distention or sphincter transection in an animal model. Obstet Gynecol 2008; 111: 1426-34.

Rahn DD, White AB, Word RA, Schaffer JI, Wai CY. Effect of pregnancy, parturition, and fourth degree laceration on function of the external anal sphincter. Obstet Gynecol 2009; 113: 909-16.

Wai CY and Word RA. Contractile properties of the denervated external anal sphincter. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2009: 653.e1-7.

White AB, Keller PW, Acevedo JF, Word RA, Wai CY. Effect of myogenic stem cells on contractile properties of repaired and non-repaired external anal sphincter transection. Obstet Gynecol 2010; 115: 815-23.


Contact Us

5323 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75390-9032
Phone 214-648-6430
Fax 214-648-0328