Life Changing Surgery Comes to Gabon

For 28 years, Gabonese Dorothee Adjakidjie suffered embarrassment and shame from not knowing whether she was male or female after being born with genitals of both sexes. When she decided this year to be a woman and undergo gender reassignment surgery so she could seek a male partner, she faced another problem: living in a nation with two million people but not a single plastic surgeon. Michael Obeng, from Beverly Hills, chose her for one of 100 free operations carried out this year in Gabon by doctors from his medical charity R.E.S.T.O.R.E – and the first intervention of its kind by a plastic surgeon in the central African country. Obeng, whose charity has also performed operations in Guatemala, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria and Ghana, said Dorothee would not be able to bear children because she won’t have a functioning uterus or ovaries. Reuters TV filmed the successful operation, which involved removing the penis and turning a partial vagina into a fully-formed one. The United Nations estimated in 2016 that 1.7 percent of new-born babies can, like Dorothee, be classified as intersex.SOURCE: REUTERS AFRICA

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