Hope rises for boy with severed genitals

• Doctors say he can procreate in future

MEDICAL experts have raised hope that the two- month- old baby boy, Buhari  Dauda, whose genitals were severed recently in Niger State by one Ramatu Rabiu, his stepmother, is capable of living a normal life, as well as being able to procreate even with the stump of his remaining genitals.

Hope was raised last Tuesday, following a successful penile surgery conducted on him by a team of medical experts led by a paediatric surgeon, Dr. Ibrahim  Abdullahi and a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Edward Bala, at the state owned Ibrahim Babangida Specialised Hospital in Minna, the state capital.

Prior to the operation, which commenced at about 9:35 a.m on Tuesday and lasted for almost three hours, the leader of the team, Dr. Abdullahi told journalists that the essence of the surgery was to put the little boy’s scrotum in a proper position and in a sack by the plastic and reconstructive surgeon from the National Centre for Plastic Re-Constructive Surgery, Enugu, Enugu State.

At the end of the three-hour surgery, the medical experts declared that it was more than 90 per cent successful. Abdullahi added that the next surgery on little Buhari Dauda would take place after the age of 12, saying “we will monitor his chances of recovery and a psychologist will be attached to him so that he did not hate women when he grows up into a full-blown adult.”

He added that “if he is the type that has a long penis, he might not need any transplant in the future, but if he is the type that has a small penis, we will need to look for a part to add to the stump to make it longer.”

He disclosed further before the surgery that the penile surgery was the second stage operation performed by his team on the little boy, stressing that Buhari Dauda had the first operation when he was brought from his village in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday, 22 June, 2016.

“And at the time he came to the hospital, there were some tissues that were cut off and were dead as we have had to do what we call ‘debrimore’ to clean the dead and dying parts minimally so that we can spare as much as possible vital parts of his body. We were also able to divert his urine during that first time. So, since then, he has been on dressing and other care. So he has done well.

“We are supposed to have done this surgery before now, but we did not do it because he had some infections prior to his coming to the IBB Specialised Hospital, Minna. The genital was contaminated with rags from home in an attempt to control bleeding and then faeces also entered the penis . But now we have seen it clinically and by laboratory evidence, that there is no germ there, so we are going to proceed,” he stated.

Also in a separate interview, before the operation the plastic surgeon, Dr Bala, spoke with journalists on the surgery and what to expect.

“I am Dr Edward Bala, a plastic surgeon. We are here for the surgery, we want to re-create the scrotum. We want to simulate nature, so that is what we are here for. The patient, Buhari Dauda, having lost the genitals, we have to create one for him. But this is just the beginning.

“Subsequently, the patient might need other surgeries in the future. But today, the surgery is to close the defects; we want to cover the testis. That is what we are going to do today. But we don’t want to talk (for now) about his performing as a man when he grows up because he is still a child,” he said.

The plastic surgeon, however, promised that he and his other colleagues would see what could be done to ensure that the little boy lives a normal life, saying: “we will see what we can do, but he has a future before him because he is just two months old.

He added that  “if he is going to spend 60 years in life, he would need to grow and the organ that is left needs to also grow. Then subsequently, we would see how we can enhance and augment it.”

He, however, assured that he and his team-mates would give the treatment of the boy a multi-disciplinary approach, emphasising that among the experts assembled by the Niger State government to carry out the operation on the little boy were paediatric surgeons and plastic and reconstructive surgeons.

“Neurologists have also been called upon for their views and they saw it and we had a conference with them. And what they said was that there is hope. So, in essence, hope is not lost. We would do whatever is possible within our limit here and outside, because the world is a collaborative world for good results.

“So, we discussed with the Neurologist whose skills and trainings are about genitals; he is the one that will tell us better, but he has said hope is not lost. We have met over it; we have collaborated and agreed that hope is not lost.

“He said to us that the stump that is left, we should put a tack mark on it so that in the future when we want to do an operation, we would identify it quickly and augment it. And there are many options available for augmentation. There are options, penile lengthening is one for instance; some people naturally have small penises and they might say they want to augment their penises to make them longer. So, that is one of the options available to this child.

“So, as we are going in today, we hope to scrape the scrotum then when the stump is still there we are now reconstructing the penis because he came late. At about the time he came here, what has been cut cannot be re-attached.

“If he had come earlier, the reverse would have been the case, but he came 16 hours after the penis had been cut off. That means the chance of re-attachment is gone. But despite that, the hope is still high,” he concluded.