Surgeons at Kenyatta National Hospital have successfully reattached a teenager's severed manhood after a seven-hour operation.
Led by Prof Stanley Khainga, the team of urologists and plastic surgeons worked to reattach the teenager's organ which was chopped off after an attack at home.
The 16-year-old boy, only identified as A.M. to protect his privacy, was assaulted by unknown people at around 1am on the night of December 18, 2018.
During the horrifying attack at the Form Three student's home, the assailants severed his penis.
"We received the case as a referral from one of the county hospitals at around 9am on December 19, 2018. His penis had been amputated at the base using a kitchen knife," Prof Khainga said.
At KNH, the boy was received by a team of urologists and plastic surgeons.
"After initial examination and resuscitation, we immediately prepared him for theatre where we began the process of re-implantation of the penis," Prof Khainga said.
The multidisciplinary team, which included University of Nairobi lecturer and blood vessel (microvascular) surgeon Ferdinand Nangole, Dr Jujo and Dr Were, first examined the stump left behind when the organ was cut off.
"We noticed it had been dressed to stop the bleeding that occurred immediately after the incident. It also had minimal soiling, with the blood vessels around the base and urethra, which passes urine, exposed," Prof Khainga said.
The surgeon said the knife had sliced clean through the base of the penis, in an act he termed as "a guillotine-like amputation through the organ's base".
This is medically known as total penile amputation.
To manage it, doctors have to restore the penile structures while repairing the vessels.
The US National Library of Medicine reports that there have been some few cases of failure of the organ to recover sensory abilities, despite the penile shaft surviving the operation.
This is the first time an operation of this kind was successfully carried out on Kenyan soil.
Prof Khainga said the goal of the procedure was to achieve normal function. "Our management goal was to restore normal function, which consists of urination, or passing urine, sexual gratification, improved self or body image and reproduction. We also sought to achieve adequate aesthetic appearance or normal appearance of the organ, including length," he said.
"He has done well and is reporting erections with adequate length. His wounds have also healed."
The surgeon said the patient is due for discharge in a fortnight.
"A.M. is due for a discharge in the next two weeks after the removal of the urethral catheter, which was placed in the urethra to facilitate the passage of urine as he recovers," the surgeon said.
KNH acting chief executive Thomas Mutie said the operation marked a milestone for surgical medicine in the region.
"Had the patient's family opted to fly him abroad for the procedure, the organ would not have been viable for surgery by the time they arrived there. It is therefore testimony to the fact that there are highly qualified medics in the facility," Dr Mutie said.