Boy’s Aussie operation after penis accidentally amputated
A UGANDAN boy has had life-changing surgery in Brisbane to reattach his penis after a botched operation in his home country.
Eight-year-old Benson Wasswa was forced to use a catheter and bag for the past two years after a Ugandan hospital accidentally amputated his penis.
The surgery was performed free of charge by urologist David Winkle and his team of surgeons at the Mater Children's Hospital after he was flown to Australia by the Droplets in a Stream charity.
Dr Winkle said while it was not the first time he had performed the surgery, it was unusual and most "unfortunate" for Benson.
He said the last time he had performed the procedure was on young African boy whose penis had been cut off by a witch doctor.
Left untreated, Benson was at serious risk of dangerous infection because of the wound left by the surgery in Uganda.
"It's not a common thing. Obviously it almost never happens in this environment, but in other environments it does happen," he said.
It may not be the only surgery Benson receives as part of the reconstruction. Dr Winkle said the three- hour procedure was "quite complex".
"There is a whole group of individuals, companies who are delighted and in some ways privileged, to be able to help a fellow like this."
The surgery was made possible by a team of seven people with plastic surgeon Dr Scott Ingram assisting Dr Winkle.
Droplets in a Stream director Rodney Callanan said Benson's trip to Brisbane was one that came with many firsts after South African Airlines and Virgin Australia flew him from his home for free.
"(It was) his first time on a plane, his first time watching a movie, and even his first time seeing an escalator," he said.
"Children like Benson need urgent medical treatment so they can live a normal life, but that's just not possible in Uganda, which is why we've been looking for help in Australia.
"Benson deserves to live a carefree life, where he can go to the toilet normally like other children his age. At the moment there's a risk he'll develop serious infections because of his wound."