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Circumcised penis--is this normal?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've never visited this thread before, so I'll say "Hi" first!

Both my ds's are circ'd (and if I have more boys they will not be!!!)

My 13 month old has always had a small penis. After he was circ'd, the head of his penis was hiding and we always had to pull back skin to make it appear. Both the OB who did the circ and our ped said the circ was fine--enough skin was taken off--his penis just needs to grow. At 13 months, it's better, but he still has excess skin or fat or whatever and I still have to pull it back to expose his penis. Is this normal? Should I worry about this? My older ds never had this problem. It's not causing any discomfort or preventing him from urinating or anything, but it does cause me to question. Maybe somebody here can shed some light. I tried to Google it, but got a lot of porn sites. TIA!
post #2 of 12
All three of my boys had their baby chubb cover their penis for quite awhile. My 7 month old still does!

Once my two older boys started walking off their chubb it suddenly took awhile but looked "normal" after awhile!
post #3 of 12
Brayg- I'm glad to hear the your son is not having any troubles due to the way his circumciser cut him.

Well, it's not "normal" to have any of his internal penis showing at all... so the fact that he does not have his internal penis parts aways exposed is more normal than a boy who does always have them exposed. It is very common for circumcisions to not look the way that people expect them to- what you describe is an expected outcome, one that frequently dissapoints parents and causes boys to have to endure even more surgery while people persue some artificial ideal of what a penis is supposed to look like- but no, it does not indicate that there is any sort of problem with the circumcision... it indicates that there is a problem with the informed consent process which allowed you to believe that a circumcision would return you a little mushroom looking cap miniature circumcised adult baby penis. (what most people think a circumision is!) This failure to communicate causes many boys a lot of pain, trauma, heartache and sometimes physical problems (in the way of additional surgery, adhesions and infections and erectile pain after tightening revisions)

There is no problem with your son... but there is a big problem with the people who circumcised him. I think you should think seriously about the informed consent process... that after taking part in sevral circumcisions you still were unaware of this possibility and how common this outcome is and what if anything it means. Today, there are parents being handed the same consent form that you were- unaware of the fact that their son's circumcision might not look like what they thinks a circumcision looks like, that it might make hygene MORE difficult than were he intact, that it might open him up to risk of MORE surgery than were he left intact... it will remove sexually unique structures and cause him a lot of pain in the first days of his life... the reason why this consent process is still happening the way it is is because people like you do not come back and call them on what they did... solicit a surgery from uninformed people. Someone needs to make these sleezeball profiteers pay for the deceptions they pass on to generation after generation of men.

You need to complain at every level- your OB, childbirth educator, insurance company, pediatrician, hospital, nursing staff, and your state medical board. You need to tell them that you did not know that this was a possible and COMMON outcome and that had you known you would have never consented... that you were never shown photos of circumcision outcomes or explained the AIM of a circumcision.

Here are four links to help you with your research:

Article about adhesions: http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/gracely1/

Photos of circumcision problems- including adhesions:

Photos of boys with seemingly excess skin after a circumcison baby and older: http://www.rogerknapp.com/medical/circ_incomplete.htm

Artists rendering of a circumcised penis (within a biased awful article)showing a typical "incomplete" circumcision: http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm...C2A0B91919D578

As far as the luck of the knife goes- a boy with more skin is certainly a lot more lucky than a child who is going to be doomed to painful erections and a hairy penis after puberty because an overzealous circumciser took too much of his penis skin off.

So I just want to clarify- if you complain to the people in this story who let you down- remember, it's not the outcome you should be upset about- it's the fact that you were not INFORMED that this outcome was what you were consenting to.

Love Sarah
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm glad it's something that was done incorrectly. Yes, I understand the whole "informed consent" thing is a bunch of bull. I've learned that in the whole vax debate--we cannot rely on the medical community for the true facts, that's for sure.

I only have 2 children, so I've only been through circumcision twice, so I have not been part of several circumcisions, but I do know I will have no part of any more. I've learned a lot in the past year-year and a half about unnecessary medical procedures.

Thanks for the post!
post #5 of 12
Brayg- I'm sorry if what I said may have come across as if I was saying it was done incorrectly... that wasn't really what I mean- (and you have to uderstand that from my political viewpoint I can't say that there is such a thing as a properly done infant circumcision... it'sa stubborn block I have- so answering these types of questions are really hard on me- so please bear with me)

Let me just drop my politics for a second here and pretend that there is such a thing as a perfect infant circumcision... it's possible that your son got the most perfect circumcision available to humankind... the fact is- we won't know till after puberty when he is all grown up... and at that point he will be the only person suited to decide if he likes that style of circumcision or not... or if he likes circumcision at all.

The volume of skin on the penis of a baby is irrelevant to the volume of skin he will need to comfortably be able to enjoy his adult erection. This is something that no one knows... something which astounds me that circumcisiers have the audacity to GUESS at.

Who knows- maybe this circumciser guessed dead on what your son will need. Please don't think of this as "operator error" we have no way of knowing! We simply are not in a position to judge that... it could be even more perfect than the circumcision of your other son!

I had one boyfriend who had hair up his penis all the way to the circumcision scar... I am sure that his parents believed that he had a good circumcision... the hair didn't happen till puberty- the severity of that cut wasn't apparent to anyone by him and his lovers- his parents never saw it. His circumciser also never saw it.

even on a fully grown adult penis- the volume of skin needed to compensate between flaccid and erect is HIGHLY VARIABLE... this is not something that you can KNOW just from looking at a flaccid penis "oh yeah, he will need 2 inches of stretch in his penis skin to cover his erection..." You can't judge that... not even the most expert urologist can... erections don't grow in predictable proportions from one man to the next- each man is different.

So what I am saying is that this is all guesswork and we just don't know. The people who took your consent did not communicate to you that they were going to surgicly guess with your child and hope to hit a mark somewhere between the loose (cultural goal of "passing as circumcised" ) and tight (sexual cripple with erection pain) You thought that circumcise means circumcise and you get one certain thing... you didn't understand that you were going to give your childup to the judgement call of a Dr who is not even doing follow up on these kids. that's the complaint... it's not that they did anything wrong with the circumcision... they did something wrong with the consent process.

Please don't be intimidated from complining, the fact that you have learned a lot in the past year and a half says a lot about you (caring concerned and open minded) but it NOT FAIR TO YOU... that now you have to live your life feeling like you might have done things differently- it was THEIR JOB to inform you before you made a mistake you might regret- and they failed you. People have to hold them accountable and demand that they change the informed consent procedure.

Love Sarah
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sarah. Yes, I did believe that it was kind of a "one size fits all" kind of procedure. I'm only now learning that it isn't. That being said, and I'm not sticking up for the doctors in any way, but I also feel that a lot of the responsibility of informed consent should fall on the shoulders of parents. *I* had a responsibility to research about it, just as I would any other medical procedure. I didn't do that. I assumed it was routine, just as I assumed vaccines were routine with my first ds, eye goop, vit. k, etc, etc. I've learned now that my job as a parent is to know the ins and outs of everything, as trivial as they may seem. Yes, I can hold the medical community responsible for maybe misleading me, but I can also hold myself responsible for not doing my job as well as I could have. That and our populace as a whole for blindly going along with whatever we are told by the "medical gods", because we've proven that we will.

Anyway...just a different spin on it. Like I said, the medical community is at fault for a lot of things, but they are allowed to be this way because parents aren't doing their jobs.
post #7 of 12
OK Brayg... humor me... let's go back in time and pretend that you are a brand newely pregnant young woman and you KNOW ALREADY that it is your job to research everything along the way... and you are about to research circumcision...

Please tell me where you will find the information that accuratly describes the mobility of the foreskin and it's function during intercourse and masturbation....

Also please tell me where you will find mention of the anatomy "the frenulum" and any quantification of it's errogenous value.

After that, tell me if you can tell me what meatal stenosis is and if this is a common post circumcision complication... can you find information on meatal stenosis at the same place you find information of the sexual function and anatomical structure of the foreskin?

How about adhesions? Is information on perventing adhesions (like the info I linked in my first post) available to you along with the same information that details the "potential benefits"?

The problem with American parents doing this type of research is that for their entire life they have been told that the foreskin is useless.. so why would they know to go out of their way to research the FUNCTION? There isn't one... is there???

They have been told that a foreskin is difficult to clean and that circumcision is hygenic... so why would they go out of their way to discover that the reverse is true? How would they discover that? I handed you the link to the Graceley article... do you think you would have ever found that on your own? Do any medical association statements explain the physiology of adhesions? The AAP mentions skin bridges (once) in a list of complications of circumcision and nothing about the incidence or care to avoid them... but twice mention them (adhesions) in terms of uncircumcised males and (can I infer) problems which seem to be presented as reasons to circumcise... . if a normal adhesion is a reason to circumcise an intact child (it's not)... wouldn't iatrogenic adhesions involving scar tissue be a reason to NOT circumcise? How come the AAP seems to take an effort in keeping the ends of this scale hidden from the fulcrum?

People have the impression that circumcision will prevent problems or the need for later surgery... so why would they think to discover the problems that circumcision frequently causes or the amount of later surgery that is done to fix problems caused by circumcisers?

How do you know when your are done researching?

If you don't know an issue exists, you don't know to research it, and you don't know that your research is incomplete... so you can proudly and confidently say- "I am INFORMED, give me the consent form!" but you could still know next to none of what you need to know.

And that is why the responsibility ad blame lies squarely with the people who drafted a consent form which PUROPSLEY leaves out the issues that people commonly do not understand. It's called a lie of omission.

Parents can't be held responsible for not knowing better. ... (but it is now your responsibility to complain and hold them accountable now that you are better informed- even if you don't regret your decision... even if you would do it again... the fact that they took uninformed consent from you should be challenged and changed.)

Love Sarah
post #8 of 12
post #9 of 12
Great posts, Sarah, as always. I couldn't agree more w/ your last post.

I just wanted to add to it a little w/ my personal experience. I know I didn't research circ AT ALL w/ either of my 1st 2 PGs. I honestly had no idea that there was a choice. I can't even tell ou what I thought a foreskin was. To me, a foreskin was an abstract piece of skin a baby boy is born with. It almost never even entered my vocabulary.
Talk about uninformed. There was an opportunity to learn about it in our baby care basics class. The only thing the instructor mentioned was that there are 2 ways to do it, plasti-bell or the traditional cutting way. l decided the plasti-bell sounded like it would be easier to care for since it will just fall off.
There was an opportunity for my Dr to say something, anything about it being a "choice". I remember going over my birth plan w/ my OB(that I loved). When she got to the circ part, all she said was that a different Dr would have to do it, b/c she doesn't do the plasti-bell type circ. She had an opportunity right there to simply say, "Do you know that circ is a choice?" I mean geez! A sentence as simple as that would have at least planted a seed.
I honestly had NO idea there was a choice. I actually think I thought it was painless, too. It still blows my mind. I didn't have a computer to research it. Like Sarah implied, why would I go to the library to research something that I thought was akin to cutting the umbilical cord?

I think Dr's get complacent, and don't take the individuals into consideration most of the time.

Now when I come across PG friends/family, I pose that question, "Do you know that you don't have to circumcise your baby boy, that it's a choice?" (I have a very mainstream PG friend right now that's having a boy that I can't stop thinking about.)
post #10 of 12
Originally posted by mattemma04
I hope I live to see the day both boys and girls are protected from circumcision of any form.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
k...I hope you don't think that I'm "pro" medical community and their practices, because that's not it at all. Feeling a little misunderstood here...

Let me reiterate that I will never circumcise my children again. As far as a debate on pro v. anti circ, you're preaching to the choir.

I do think it's despicable what the medical community does to make us believe we have no choices. It's even worse with vaccines because they try to shove a law in our faces. "Informed consent" is a crock, because it is NOT informed at all.

I had my oldest ds when I was 19. I knew circ. wasn't mandatory. I had no reason to research it, though, because my dh and I wanted him circ'd (remember--I've come a long way in the last few years, which I'm very proud of) and no, I did not know it could affect sexual function, etc. I wish I would have looked into it, just like I'd look into a tonsillectomy, ear tubes, or any other "routine" childhood procedure. I know there are people who aren't like me that simply put their trust in their doctors and never question them. It's wrong that the doctors don't disclose all risks/information. It's wrong that the information is difficult to find. And it's also wrong that even with the info, some parents do not take advantage of it.

Anyway...just wanted to clear up the fact that I don't side w/the medical community, and things do need to be changed. I totally agree with that and wasn't debating that issue at all. I'm just totally turned off by some of the parents I've run into lately that want to do things the easy way: "my doctor says xxxxx, so that's what I'll do" when the research is sitting right there for them to look at. That would take time out of their busy schedules. They also seem to think ignorance is bliss...
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
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