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Doctor retracted at 4 month visit - Page 2

post #21 of 50
Thread Starter 

With every respect to you and your position, watching a circ video would not necessarily help me at this point or answer questions that I have about my son.  I often hear the analogy made with the nailbed.  The difference however is that the nail is never meant to be ripped apart from the finger, at any stage.  So, again, I'm looking for actual experience here from parents who have been through this and what happened next, how they care for the penis now, and what to look for in the long term - if the foreskin did reattach or not, and if it did, when and if it naturally parted from the glans.  I have heard and read and scared myself silly about all of the stories about what 'might' happen - I want to hear from people who have actually been through this.

 

Many thanks everyone,

Peter

(against circumcision and forced retraction of any kind).

post #22 of 50
Hi PeterJ. Welcome to MDC and The Case Against Circumcision. It seems that you are not geting the information you are looking for. I think we are not sure exactly what type of information you are searching for.
Quote:
Again, I must stress that I fully support the advice to leave it alone and have followed this completely (especially now that I am more informed since the retraction happened to my son), but I don't think that it is helpful to scare parents with mostly biased, anecdotal evidence that is not necessarily backed up by any studies, especially when parents are stressed after this may have happened to their son.

And then you ask for:
Quote:
That's why I'm still eager to reach out to parents who have had a forcible retraction done to their son, and what actually happened in the months and years afterward, how they cared for the penis and if there were any future problems.

It seems in the first statement, you want factual studies and not anecdotal information, but in the second, you are asking for anecdotal information. Could you clarify, so we can be sure you are getting the information you are searching for?
post #23 of 50

Peter, being from England myself I can imagine that UK doctors don't see much of boys' penises.  The initial baby check-ups are done by health visitors or midwives and then after that there is little intervention in the life of a healthy child.  Certainly I never went to the doctor growing up unless I was rather ill, at which point they would assess only the part of me that was ill (and I'm about your age, so perhaps you had a similar experience).  I can't imagine that a GP's daily work life involves much inspection of foreskins.

 

I am also very anti-circumcision, and would prefer to prevent any son of mine from having his foreskin forcibly retracted, but I think under the circumstances you've described there does not seem to be lasting harm that has been done from that momentary retraction.

 

I can understand your need to hear other stories, but I'm sure people aren't too motivated to post online their tale of how their son was retracted but nothing bad happened - it's not very newsworthy or exciting, if you see what I mean.  When my daughter was a year old she cut her head open and had to have stitches, which the doctor did without any numbing of the area at all.  It was horrific, but at the time we thought the doctor knew best and weren't really sure what she did/didn't do.  I was in pieces for weeks thinking about how horrible the experience must have been for my child, and what damage it could have done her, how I could have prevented it.  But the truth of it is that I was worrying for no reason, she recovered, remembered nothing of it and has no scars.  I hope this will be the case for your son.

 

I hope you don't mind me giving my opinions.

post #24 of 50
Thread Starter 

Stelly - Thanks for your reply - of course I don't mind you voicing your opinion!  I'm glad to hear from anyone with something to say on this issue.

 

Thinking back to my own experiences growing up in the UK in the 1980s, I think you are right. There were no regular visits or checkups to monitor development, as such.  The only time I remember my gentials being "checked' as an infant, was when a health visitor came to our school, and did some very basic checks, including looking down my pants for about one second!  It's funny how I remember that so clearly.

 

You're also right about people wanting to post on issues that have the most impact.  But I think what I'm really looking for, is for those parents who have posted here about a forced retraction in the past, to reconnect with us, and let us know if there have been any further issues.  This would be of enormous benefit to parents, like myself, who are looking for guidance from actual cases.  It is so common for parents to post on an issue, and then months perhaps years pass, and one wonders what happened.  I have PM'd a few of the parents who have posted in the past, who have been kind enough to reply, and I thank them again for their advice.

 

Peter

post #25 of 50
Thread Starter 

Hi QueenOfThe Meadow - thanks for your reply.  I'm sorry if I am not making myself clear.  I guess you could call advice and guidance from parents "anecdotal" and not particularly scientific, but at present I think it is more valuable to me, personally, to connect with parents who have experienced this issue, due to the lack of scientific information or conducted studies regarding forced retraction and the future problems associated with it.  I have read all of the information about the possible future difficulties, but it is not at all clear as to how prevalent these future problems are.  In the absence of scientific studies about the after effects of forced retraction and the volume of incidences associated with it, I feel that contacting parents is a reasonable method of trying to gain this kind of information that is otherwise lacking.  Also, if there were problems that surfaced as a direct result of the retraction, it would be very beneficial to discover how parents dealt with that, and the specific methods that were used.

 

Kind regards

Peter

post #26 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterJ View Post

  But I think what I'm really looking for, is for those parents who have posted here about a forced retraction in the past, to reconnect with us, and let us know if there have been any further issues.  



Very good point, I've noticed in the past that people are often not good on MDC at following up to their posts, you can type lots of helpful info. into a reply to them and then they apparently never come back to read it.  Follow-up to things like retraction that happened several years ago would be super helpful, so would updates to breastfeeding problem stories and so on. 

 

I'm glad you got some responses from PMs.  Good luck with everything.

post #27 of 50

 

I am expecting a boy in July, and have been wanting to post a question in this forum about what harm can be done when a childcare provider, doctor, family member--whoever--retracts a baby or child's foreskin (before it's naturally retractable).  I have been afraid to make that post, however, because I fear people may not fully share experiences, thinking those experiences may be used as a rationale to support circumcision.  As PeterJ did repeatedly in this thread, if I were to go ahead and make that post, I thought I'd have to strongly reiterate that it was solely for information, and not for some contrary rational to circumcise.  I feared I couldn't assume that since I was posting in this forum of MDC, it would be obvious that I'm anti-circ/forced retraction of any kind.

 

So, I also support the sharing of anecdotal experiences regarding forced retraction for information and education, and for no other agenda.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterJ View Post

 

Again, I'm absolutely against medically unecessary circumcision and forced retraction of any kind.  But there's obviously a lot of confusion over this issue, and I feel that as parents we deserve to know the truth.  That's why I'm still  eager to reach out to parents who have had a forcible retraction done to their son, and what actually happened in the months and years afterward, how they cared for the penis and if there were any future problems.

 

Many Thanks,

Peter



 

post #28 of 50

I disagree with the nail bed analogy personally (and think it makes our side looks like we are over reacting).  Some animals are born with their eyes fused at birth, and forcing them open early causes problems.  I find that a better analogy- and I'm sure others have come up with even better analogies than I.  Will try to come back and post more later when I can.  Jessica

 

 

 

post #29 of 50
I think the analogy of the fingernail is used because it is something that most people can relate to. Since I believe everyone has turned a nail back on occasion and knows how badly that hurts. But you are right in that the fingernail is never meant to come off.

I like the analogy of the eyes of animals but dont think it gives the reader a deep visceral reaction like the fingernail one does.
post #30 of 50

Hi - 

 

Here's a great trick really important for everyone to know about intact boys who need a catheter -   point the penis all the way flat against the abdomen, towards the belly button!   This lines up the opening so that retraction is not necessary.    

 

This was passed on to me from my awesome Oregon pediatrician while I was in an east coast ER with my very small son, fighting off the nurse who thought she had to retract all the way to place the cath.   (The MD there said "but what's the big deal?  you should be retracting it every time you wash him anyway.  !  This was in 2008!)

 

good to know!

 

Laura

post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by laura* View Post

Hi - 

 

Here's a great trick really important for everyone to know about intact boys who need a catheter -   point the penis all the way flat against the abdomen, towards the belly button!   This lines up the opening so that retraction is not necessary.    

 

This was passed on to me from my awesome Oregon pediatrician while I was in an east coast ER with my very small son, fighting off the nurse who thought she had to retract all the way to place the cath.   (The MD there said "but what's the big deal?  you should be retracting it every time you wash him anyway.  !  This was in 2008!)

 

good to know!

 

Laura


That is really good information to know about how to place a cath. I hope that you took the time to explain to the Dr. how big a deal it actually was.
post #32 of 50
Thread Starter 

Update: My son is now close to eight months old.  We took him for his regular checkup a few weeks ago.  I decided to take him to a different pediatrician, in order to get a second opinion and ask the many questions that I had regarding what happened back in January.  I was very relieved to hear that and the new Dr. knew all about forced retraction and the problems that can arise as a result.  He examined my son (without retracting of course), and told me that everything looks normal.  I was so relieved to hear that!

 

I noticed that from around the age of six months, my son was starting to notice his penis, at bathtimes, and was pulling on it and stretching the foreskin quite hard.  I've heard this is a totally normal part of a boy discovering his body and no harm will result, so I just let him get on with it!  Obviously I have done nothing to forcibly retract the skin, just cleaning the outside,  Just recently, at bathtime, I noticed that the very end of his foreskin was very loose and open.  While I was gently cleaning that area, I noticed that the skin was very loose indeed and when he was holding it, the skin was retracting a little!  So it appears that his foreskin has naturally detached from his penis, perhaps with a little help from him playing with it!  This is an enormous relief for me, because I was very worried that the forced retraction may have set my son up for problems in the future with adhesions or phimosis.

 

For those parents worried, just as I was, after a forced retraction, I would just like them to know that it does not automatically mean that your son will face problems as a result.

 

Peter

post #33 of 50

Thanks for asking this!

 

I came to this board to specifically ask this same question!

 

We are expecting our second son and we are not circumcising this time. I was wondering if we would run into problems with doctors who might try to examine and at least partially, retract. I was wondering, in advance, if that would be a normal thing for a doctor to do to look for problems or if I should be on the alert to make sure it doesn't happen.

post #34 of 50
Be on alert to prevent it. There are more Dr's out there than not who have no idea they shouldnt be trying to retract.
post #35 of 50
Thread Starter 

Hi Seili

 

The fact that you are seeking advice and doing your own research is an enormously positive thing.  I wish that I had read more about this issue and had been better prepared.  As a parent who had his son forcibly retracted by a pediatrican, at four months, there's a couple of things that I would absolutely do differently if we have another boy.  Despite all the reading and research you can do, the Drs office can be rather an intimidating place to be, especially if there is a conflict of opinion over an issue like this.  The best advice I can give is to get the issue out in the open before the examination starts.  Let the Dr know that you understand that the AAP guidelines say that an infant should never have his foreskin forcibly retracted.  Print off the guidlines so that you can show them to the Dr if you need to.  If you have a Dr who is uninformed about intact boys, this will really help support your position and educate your Dr at the same time.  It will be hard indeed for the Dr to go against the opinion of the organization who he/she is most likely board certified by, and it makes it very difficult to dismiss your opinion as uneducated or formed by 'what you read on the internet.'  If you're uncomfortable about the level of care given by the Dr, then of course you put your child first, and walk, and find a better Dr - which is what I did.

 

Secondly, there's some practical advice for the care of the foreskin itself.  I apologize if you already know this stuff, but I think it's worth repeating.  The basic advice is to leave it alone.  When cleaning the penis, do so as if cleaning a finger - exterior only.  There is no need to retract before it's ready, because the skin is naturally fused to the glans and provides protection from germs.  Forcibly retracting can cause problems later on if the skin reattaches, causing adhesions, or if the foreskin is damaged, leading to the formation of scar tissue.  Both issues can create problems for the future and could prevent natural retraction, possibly leading to conditions called phimosis (unable to retract) or para-phimosis (foreskin stuck in retracted position, requiring immediate medical attention).

 

Current educated medical opinion says that some babies can be naturally retracted in the first year, for some boys it takes much longer, sometimes several years.  There is no schedule and obviously every boy is different.  The absolute best advice I can give you is that if you have any concerns with the penis or foreskin, seek out a Dr who knows how to treat intact boys.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Peter

post #36 of 50

I agree with Seili!  Thanks for posting and adding to this discussion, Peter J.  We are expecting a baby boy July 1 and are not circumcising.  I am the worrying type and I am terrified that some family member or pediatrician will retract the foreskin without our permission.  I'm not sure how to make sure this does not happen without stepping on toes or sounding like a jerk.  :-/  It makes me want to prevent anyone other than my husband or myself from changing our baby's diaper or bathing him!

 

Somehow I suspect this is the only the beginning of the controversial issues I"ll need to speak up about, and I need to get used to getting "mean" for the sake of our baby. :P

post #37 of 50

PeterJ - Thanks so much for the thread and advice on telling the ped. to back off. I'm afraid this will be an issue at my little guy's 6 mo check up next month...

 

Are the AAP guidelines on "just leave it alone" online anywhere? If so, can you link them here?

 

Thanks!

post #38 of 50
AAP Intact Care Guide http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/aap/ under foreskin hygein
Quote:
The uncircumcised penis is easy to keep clean. No special care is required! No attempt should be made to forcibly retract the foreskin. No manipulation is necessary.
post #39 of 50
Thread Starter 

Hi Howeberry -

 

I see that MCatLvrMom provided a link to the guidelines for you.  This is a great link and provides a lot of information.  I found a slightly more up to date version here, in pdf format - http://northplattepeds.com/pdfs/azH0023r.pdf   This was the version that I took to my new Ped. It provides essentially the same info as the first link, but in a more updated, brochure format.

 

Good luck with your 6 month visit.  I'm sure that armed with all of this good information, you'll be absolutely fine.

 

Peter

post #40 of 50

hey reborn, 

 

if it helps, i've phrased that conversation as, "my pediatrician said to make sure to tell everyone taking care of my son not to retract the foreskin -  evidently they used to recommend pulling the foreskin back, but more current research as shown that it's better to just clean the outside."    i've had that conversation a lot - with every babysitter and especially grandparents - and I think phrased this way it's pretty non-judgemental.

 

good luck - 

 

laura

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