"The pain became increasingly unbearable, so that I couldn’t even walk or sit."
A Kenyan man who had his genitals swell up to 20 times their normal size finally got his life back after a successful surgery to reduce the swelling.
Forence Owiti Opiyo, a 20-year-old man from the small village of Kibigori in western Kenya who suffered from scrotal elephantiasis, has had his genitals returned to their original size and plans to live a normal life following a successful surgery, reports The Sun.
By the time of his surgery, Opiyo’s testicles had swollen to the weigh 11 pounds and penis had grown to three feet long. He was unable to walk properly, or even wear clothes and felt isolated from society.
Opiyo first noticed a cyst growing on his genitals when he was 10 years old, in 2006. The next year he had the growth removed, but the infection returned a couple of years later, and his genitals began to swell again.
He remembered how “This thing started very small, like a boil. Then it was the size of my fist. It just continued to grow bigger and bigger.”
For years, doctors were unable to diagnose Opiyo’s condition, as his genitals grew in size and his quality of life diminished. At one point, he even believed that he must have been cursed by the devil.
“The pain became increasingly unbearable, so that I couldn’t even walk or sit,” Opiyo recalled.
But earlier this year, doctors at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Hospital in Kenya diagnosed Opiyo with scrotal elephantiasis and had him undergo surgeries to treat the disease.
Elephantiasis, more properly known as lymphatic filariasis, is a condition that affects the lymphatic system. It is generally caused by roundworms that are transmitted to humans via mosquitoes.
These roundworms lodge themselves in lymphatic vessels leading to the swelling of tissue and thickening of the skin. These worms can live up to eight years and can continue to reproduce elongating the condition.
Those who suffer from this condition can develop intense swelling localized in one part of the body, in the case of Opiyo, in his genitals.
Now, after removing the worms, the doctors performed two surgeries on Opiyo, the first to debulk his genitals and remove the excess mass, and a second to reconstruct the genitals into a more usual shape and size.
Dr. James Obondi, the consulting surgeon, said: “We spared the nerves, we spared the circulation and we brought the shaft to its rightful size.”
He said that “In three months [Opiyo] will be just normal in his functions and be able to do everything he wants to do.”
Following his recovery, Obondi said that Opiyo would be able to have a normal sex life and have children in the future.
This was ecstatic news for Opiyo who said, “I would really love to have children one day, that is what I desire.”
After the surgery, Opiyo is delighted with returning to a normal life.
“Now I can run and I can play football. Now I’m free,” he stated.