The Circumcision Discussion - page 5

I know this can be a HUGE debate, and I'm not looking to start any arguments. I was just wondering as you are OB nurses. I'm expecting a boy in July and not sure if we should circ. or not. My... Read More

  1. by   sbic56
    One infants' complaint after his circ:

    "I couldn't walk for a year after I had mine!"

  2. by   jadednurse
    Originally posted by Dayray
    Please join me in mourning the loss of my forskin LOL!!!
    Exactly what I was wondering! Are there alot of adult "crewnecks" out there wishing were still "turtlenecks?"

    On a more serious note, I don't have children yet, but this thread has brought up some very good points. The only advice I can offer is to be sure of your decision to circ...once it's done it's done.
  3. by   Gator,SN
    Are there alot of adult "crewnecks" out there wishing were still "turtlenecks?"
  4. by   huntsters
    As an OB nurse, I would like to clarify something. I have watched numerous circumcisions, and the most amazing thing about the circumcision, is that by the time the Dr. is actually "cutting" the foreskin, the baby is usually quiet, unless he was just a fussy infant. The baby mostly screams when he is being strapped down (for his own protection), and the cries come when the dr places the "bell" over the penis. When he tightens the clamp, most of them actually get quiet because it must become numb. Many babies actually suck their pacifier through the rest of the procedure, which is only about 2 minutes. I'm sure the rawness is painful, which is why the mothers put vaseline on the circ for about 5 days. If you let them stay wet, I'm sure that is painful, too. Quick diaper changes take care of that, and it is only for the first 2 days at most.
    NOW, let's compare this to giving an "older male his choice". If you ever see an adult circumcision, you would never put him in a position to choose. The men are sore (putting it mildly) for several(low estimation) days and the complications are much higher as adults. I would never make my child have to make that decision when he is older. My son never had "psychological" problems about a diaper change other than his own modest personality which he still has. Let's get real, and think more for the child's sake in the future. There are more chances he will need to be circ'd as an adult than that he will have any complications from an infant circ. And truly, "woe" to the poor man who has to choose a circ as an adult!!!
  5. by   NICU_Nurse
    You have a very good point, but as a Neonatal nurse, can I also point out something? Infants who are experiencing pain or extreme discomfort (or overstimulation, etc.) will often "tune-out" the pain by either becoming lethargic or even falling asleep once the pain reaches a point they can no longer tolerate. In fact, following that line of thinking, it is possible that the precise reason that infants quiet down during the actual cutting is EXACTLY because it is so horribly painful for them, thus they shut down.


    You know, I think also that we shouldn't necessarily assume that just because a parent chooses NOT to circumcize their infant means that automatically the child will have to "make" the decision when they are older. That's implying, really, that circumcision is preferred over remaining fully intact, which may not be the case. Many men are quite happy au natural, so to speak.

    I don't feel that the only factor here is complications from the procedure; it's a very personal decision with many factors contributing to the decision to do or not to do.

    To me, this is similar in a very distinct way to children born with hermaphroditism. For years doctors would "choose" the sex of the child based on a limited number of factors, feeling that they were justified because they were taking the responsibility of that off of the shoulders of the child (who would later grow up to become confused about their gender assignment). It was assumed by many that having to choose as an adult was undesirable, so operations were performed and great lengths were gone to to drive home the CHOSEN gender assignment. However, if you talk to those children now, as adults, many will and have said that they would have preferred the choice and felt as if the opportunity to choose were robbed from them.

    Parents and doctors making significant choices for children is a frequent and sometimes unfortunate thing, but some cases necessitate such a decision (i.e, Tx for disorder or disease), and in my mind, this one does not. Especially if you speak to men who are perfectly content with their foreskins as they are. ;>)
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Jun 4, '03
  6. by   fergus51
    Thank you Kristi! I recently started in an NICU and there was a doctor there who didn't want to use any pain meds on an infant getting a chest tube!!!! His reason was they usually quiet down quickly once things get started!!!! The nurse refused and went over his head to get proper analgesia for the baby thank God.
  7. by   NICU_Nurse
    http://www.circumcision.org/response.htm

    This link has a fantastic, footnoted article about this very subject. In fact, I thought it particularly interesting that they mentioned the pacifier use- that though with a pacifier the babies cried less, the Cortisol (stress hormone) levels in their blood and their heart rates were phenomenally raised (in fact, according to the article, adults feeling the same thing would not tolerate such high levels of pain). Interesting to consider, especially since they actually tested the Cort levels afterwards, which is something we don't do on a regular basis (or ever, actually).


    Fergus, I just checked my Merenstein/Gardner and they did confirm that decreased or cessation of physical activity is an indicator pain or extreme agitation/irritation, so there ya' go!
    Always be an advocate for your babies! They can't speak; that's what *you're* there for, right? Imagine performing a surgical procedure on an adult and not giving pain medication. Would you do it? Hell no. Would they allow it? Hell no. So why is it allowable for infants? Just thoughts to chew on. ;>)

    And, swinging completely off topic for a sec, Ferg, why are you not posting in the NICU forum more? Get yer butt over there and get to work!!!

    Back to the regularly scheduled programming...
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Jun 4, '03
  8. by   fergus51
    Definitely agree with you on that one Kristi. I think it is cruel to not treat an infant's pain for any reason and am not about to participate in any type of procedure where this is ignored. They couldn't pay me enough to do that and I switch jobs so often I'd have no trouble quitting and going elsewhere to work (thank you nursing shortage).

    On that note, I will swing to the NICU forum and get to work (What can I say, I've been busy in the real NICU. So much to learn there!!!!!!).
  9. by   babs_rn
    Originally posted by huntsters
    If you ever see an adult circumcision, you would never put him in a position to choose. The men are sore (putting it mildly) for several(low estimation) days and the complications are much higher as adults. I would never make my child have to make that decision when he is older. My son never had "psychological" problems about a diaper change other than his own modest personality which he still has. Let's get real, and think more for the child's sake in the future. There are more chances he will need to be circ'd as an adult than that he will have any complications from an infant circ. And truly, "woe" to the poor man who has to choose a circ as an adult!!!

    I remember about 15 yrs ago, as a new nurse, assisting a doc perform a circ on a 15 yr old as an OP procedure. IV demerol and 20...count 'em....TWENTY lidocaine injections....
    Poor kid, I don't know how the doc could tell what was what and what he needed to cut on the way all that lidocaine here and there deformed him (temporarily)
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Kristi excellent post. I don't hear of too darn many men electing to be circ'd as adults cause they can't stand how it "looks"....it's up to US to let boys/men be OK with their anatomy as it is, not as it "should look". We need to be honest at least about WHY we elect to circ babies, who after all, have NO ability to sign any "informed consent" to the procedure they will endure. WE can at least be HONEST and INFORMED as their parents.
  11. by   HazeK
    Originally posted by Rustyhammer
    I know this Dr. who does free circumcisions....


    ...he only takes tips.
    -Russell
    Oh Groan!!


    Circumcision: NOT medically indicated
    MY SONS? Circumcised, to "match" their dad, HIS preference
  12. by   nursee
    Originally posted by huntsters
    As an OB nurse, I would like to clarify something. I have watched numerous circumcisions, and the most amazing thing about the circumcision, is that by the time the Dr. is actually "cutting" the foreskin, the baby is usually quiet, unless he was just a fussy infant. The baby mostly screams when he is being strapped down (for his own protection), and the cries come when the dr places the "bell" over the penis. When he tightens the clamp, most of them actually get quiet because it must become numb. Many babies actually suck their pacifier through the rest of the procedure, which is only about 2 minutes. I'm sure the rawness is painful, which is why the mothers put vaseline on the circ for about 5 days. If you let them stay wet, I'm sure that is painful, too. Quick diaper changes take care of that, and it is only for the first 2 days at most.
    NOW, let's compare this to giving an "older male his choice". If you ever see an adult circumcision, you would never put him in a position to choose. The men are sore (putting it mildly) for several(low estimation) days and the complications are much higher as adults. I would never make my child have to make that decision when he is older. My son never had "psychological" problems about a diaper change other than his own modest personality which he still has. Let's get real, and think more for the child's sake in the future. There are more chances he will need to be circ'd as an adult than that he will have any complications from an infant circ. And truly, "woe" to the poor man who has to choose a circ as an adult!!!
    Why would a grown man have more chances of needing a circ? Most of the men in Europe, South Africa, Canada and Australia are intact and they all lead normal healthy lives. All the men in my family are intact and there has never been a need for any of them to be circed later in life.

    Additionally, if it hurts a grown man I'm sure it hurts a baby worse since the foreskin is fused to the glans and part of the procedure is ripping off the foreskin (like ripping off your fingernail). In an adult the foreskin is already retractable. Also an adult can use the toilet and doesn't have fresh urine and feces to sting the wound like a baby does in a diaper.

    More and more men are getting foreskin restoration done. I can't remember the name of the magazine that had the article about it, I think it was Maxim. They take the skin from the scrotum if you decide to do it surgically and then there are other methods of stretching the skin. So yes, there are more and more men unhappy with their status of being circumcised and are doing something about it.
  13. by   OB4ME
    Interesting thread here...

    Not wanting to repeat many of the comments that have been said repeatedly here, I do have something to add...

    In our area, welfare/medicaid is now refusing to pay for newborn circumcisions. Many of our local insurance companies are following suit. Few of our parents want to pay the $300 procedure fee out of pocket. This is having a dramatic effect on our circ rate, to the point that I'd say non-circumcised is now the norm, not vice-versa.

    Is anyone else out there experiencing this?

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