Peru teen Luis Canelos, 17, who accidentally shot himself in the groin with a rifle when he was nine, will undergo reconstructive surgery in Miami to get a new penis.
Luis's accident almost entirely destroyed his genital region, leaving only a small part of his right testicle intact, according to the New York Daily News. He and doctors hope he will have a fully functioning penis once his operation at Holtz Children’s Hospital at University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center is complete in August.
"I want to recover my body, be young again," Luis said.
The surgery, which costs $50,000, will be paid for by charity International Kids Fun Wonderfund and the Ronald McDonald House will provide housing for Luis and his father, Roger, while they are in Miami, reported Fox News. The organization said it agreed to help the teenager "not only because of the physical situation but also because of the emotional side effects that come with the situation," said Executive Director María Luisa Chea.
Luis and Roger had never been out of their village of 10,000 before, where they live in a straw house with Luis's eight brothers and sisters in the Loreto region, which borders on Colombia and Ecuador, according to the Miami Herald. The family shares a parcel of land with other families where they grow yucca, plantains, corn and rice. The region where they live is isolated from much of Peru, and ambulances have to arrive by river.
"Everything is jungle out there," Roger said.
Luis's operation will last 20 hours and will be led by Dr. Christopher Salgado, associate professor of surgery and section chief of plastic surgery at the University of Miami, reported ABC News. The surgical team will also include a microsurgeon and a pediatric urologist.
According to Andrew Panossian, an assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at USC Keck School of Medicine, the rare surgery, known as phalloplasty, is going to be a challenge. He described it as similar to creating a tube inside a tube and said it requires a specific pattern of harvesting skin, blood vessels and nerves to create the new penis. Then a separate tube has to be run through the new penis for sperm and urine to leave the body.
"It's a super specialist kind of job," Panossian told ABC. "You're doing very fine work and it's all sort of minutia that make this life changing thing happen."