A 13-year-old boy, Affo Morrow from Togo has undergone a successful 11-hour reconstructive surgery at St Mary’s Hospital Lacor in Gulu city.
Affo has been living with a serious congenital malformation of the bladder and genitals, known as Vesical Exstrophy, since birth. This rare condition causes urinary incontinence.
Reconstructive surgery is a procedure that aims to restore the body after an injury, disease, or correct defects present at birth.
In Affo’s case, the surgery involved multiple interventions, including reconstructing the bladder, urethra, penis, and bladder neck. Additional adaptive procedures may be required over the course of several years.
Affo had previously undergone an unsuccessful operation in Togo during the early months of his life. Local doctors recommended seeking treatment abroad, but the family could not afford it.
Fortunately, a group of Togolese living in Belgium organized a fundraiser for Affo’s treatment, and Lacor Hospital was identified as the best facility to perform the reconstructive surgery.
Accompanied by his mother, Affo traveled over 3,700km from Togo to Gulu for the surgery. The mother expressed that she had to change Affo’s diapers about five times a day due to his urinary incontinence.
Dr Sergio Dagostino, one of the surgeons involved in the procedure, mentioned that they spent 11 hours in the operating room.
He stated, “The operation was a success, and we are pleased with the outcome.”
The surgery was carried out by a team of surgeons from Lacor Hospital and doctors from Surgery For Children, an association dedicated to providing surgical assistance to children in “poor” countries with congenital or acquired malformations.
Affo is still under observation at the hospital as doctors monitor his recovery process following the surgery.