Any input on "webbed penis" and "necessary circ"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all.  I'm sort of in a frenzy right now, looking for any and all information I can get on this.

 

My son was diagnosed with a "webbed penis" at birth and we were given a referral to a pediatric urologist.  We just brought him in at 7 months and were told a few things.  This urologist does not believe it is a true webbed penis, he says that it looks like the foreskin has been retracted and that damage has been done, and lastly that this can be remedied by a well done circumcision.  He put some pressure at the base of the penis and said that it just appears to be webbed only because of the extra fat pad above it, which would work itself out a bit when he thins out.  He's a very chunky little guy!  He also described what he considered to be phimosis due to retraction.  I thought that everything looked normal and was confused and had a hard time following.   I asked if he really needed to be circumcised and was told yes and then the conversation went on between my husband and the doctor.  On the way home, I told my husband we were seeking a second opinion, which we have already booked for next month.  

 

I am really distraught over this.  No one retracted my son's foreskin, I am certain of it.  But even if it had been, isn't it too early to make this judgement call?  I have a hard time believing so.  And does anyone have experience with hidden or webbed penis?  It's not at all severe, very subtle I think.  But I'm not entirely certain because he is the first infant I have seen intact.  

 

Please let me know if any additional info would be helpful.  I just want to be completely informed on this.  I do not want this procedure, but will do what is medically necessary.  

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#2 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 09:38 AM
 
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Why would your child need to be circumcised if he can pee normally and doesn't have cancer on his foreskin?
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#3 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Exactly.  Yes.  

 

Really, I don't know very much about potential complications of these supposed issues.  It's all really unknown to me.  I'm trying to educate myself as much as I can.  

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#4 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 10:29 AM
 
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Welcome to MDC.  I'm sorry for the this trouble you're having!

 

First - breathe.  It doesn't sound like anyone is pressuring you, correct?  Remember, a doctor's recommendations are just that: recommendations.

 

Second - consider contacting either Marilyn Milos and/or Doctors OPpossing Circumcision for their opinion.

 

Third - look into what the Europeans suggest for the diagnosis.

 

Fourth - it's hard for American (I'm assuming) doctors, who learn very little to nothing of normal male anatomy in medical school or elsewhere, to know what to do to treat a male who wants to keep his foreskin.  If everything looks like a nail, a hammer is the treatment.

 

Lastly, what a lucky boy you have that you are working to keep him whole!  Keep up the good work.  And, keep posting here.  While this place isn't as heavily traveled as it once was, there are still people here & we'll support you!

 

Best wishes,

Sus


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#5 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 10:36 AM
 
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Is your son peeing normally? Does he appear to be having any pain or problems? That's the main thing.

 

There's nothing wrong with a wait-and-see approach if nothing's going wrong.

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#6 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 10:55 AM
 
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http://www.cirp.org/library/complications/bergeson/

I assume you have read this since I found it through a quick google search, but I thought I would link just in case. Basically, I gather that while surgery and circumcision may be needed, he should not be circumsized until deciding if the foreskin will be needred for reconstruction.

Also, a wait and see approach, in the absence of problems, is recommends in some cases.
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#7 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 10:55 AM
 
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Sorry for the typos...having trouble with my phone today...
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#8 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 12:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone.  I really appreciate the references and guidance.  I will look into these.

 

And mama, you are correct- no real pressure from the doctor.  Mostly just my own worries over making the wrong decision.  

 

Michelle, from what I can tell he pees just fine and exhibits no pain.  

 

Fisher, thank you for that.  I did see that, and other research that did not involve circ but other methods of "freeing up" the penis.  So much information out there that varies and contradicts.   

 

I am really leaning toward the wait and see approach, and will push for more information from the urologist at the next consult.  

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#9 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 01:50 PM
 
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Even if there ended up being something that needed to be corrected later (which I doubt) then I still think the best thing to do is wait and let your son decide if he desires this correction after he has matured. Really, he just needs to urinate with it right now.
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#10 of 13 Old 05-22-2014, 07:17 PM
 
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Two thoughts...

 

1.  I'd put this into the "intersex" category - if their body is working for what it needs to do right now (urinate - not sex), then leave it alone.  You can take his diaper off for a couple of hours, especially after he wakes up in the morning, to see how much & how he's likely peeing just fine.  Do this where it's easy to clean up or outside if the weather permits.  When the child is older & can weigh the pros & cons himself, then take action, like an intersex person.

 

2.  Ask the urologist lots of questions - what would be the benefit doing something now vs. waiting? Why would they need extra skin, such as the foreskin, for a repair? What is the protocol for this for babies born in Europe (I like this one because foreskin isn't thought of as extra skin there, they value the persons whole body)?

 

It's hard to know what the right thing to do is sometimes.  Sometimes the right answer is to do nothing.

 

Best wishes,

Sus


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#11 of 13 Old 05-26-2014, 05:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama24-7 View Post
 

Two thoughts...

 

1.  I'd put this into the "intersex" category - if their body is working for what it needs to do right now (urinate - not sex), then leave it alone.  You can take his diaper off for a couple of hours, especially after he wakes up in the morning, to see how much & how he's likely peeing just fine.  Do this where it's easy to clean up or outside if the weather permits.  When the child is older & can weigh the pros & cons himself, then take action, like an intersex person.

 

2.  Ask the urologist lots of questions - what would be the benefit doing something now vs. waiting? Why would they need extra skin, such as the foreskin, for a repair? What is the protocol for this for babies born in Europe (I like this one because foreskin isn't thought of as extra skin there, they value the persons whole body)?

 

It's hard to know what the right thing to do is sometimes.  Sometimes the right answer is to do nothing.

 

Best wishes,

Sus

I agree wholeheartedly.  There is no problem now, so you don't need to do anything.  When he gets older and can understand all the risks and benefits and effects on his sexuality, then he can make the decision.  Many many people who were born with not standard gentalia resent the corrective surgeries imposed upon them.


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#12 of 13 Old 05-29-2014, 05:12 AM
 
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I wholeheartedly agree with what Galatea, Mama24-7 and Salr have said.

 

 First, all babies and nearly all young children have tight foreskins. This is not phimosis, it is how nature designed a normal penis to keep contaminants out.

 

Second, there is no panic to do anything now and the real danger is doing something that is irreversible and may be regretted in the future.  Who knows, your son's problem ( IF he even has a problem ) may resolve on it's own, and if not, then it should be his choice what, if anything, is done about it.  As Galatea pointed out, many intersex people who were subjected to surgery as children are highly resentful about it.  A good example of how surgery performed in infancy can go off the rails is the tragic story of David Reimer.  His penis was burned off in a botched circumcision and he was subsequently re-assigned as a girl.  His life was absolute hell from the get go, finally culminating in suicide in his thirties. You can google the whole story.

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#13 of 13 Old 05-31-2014, 05:59 AM
 
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caaj914, I have reread your post and want to reassure you that phimosis cannot be diagnosed in a child - it is the normal state, See:

www.cirp.org/library/normal/

Phimosis may be an issue after puberty, and I say "may" because a small number of men go through their entire life with a foreskin that does not retract and have no issues with it. The good news is that should your son get to his late teens with a tight foreskin that he would like corrected, there are a myriad of methods that do not require amputation. These range from the application of Betamethasone cream and manual stretching (or use of a Glansie - I don't know much about that) to various versions of Preputioplasty that involve minor surgery but retain all of the foreskin. See:

www.cirp.org/library/treatment/phimosis/

www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2490/8/6

http://www.mothering.com/health/prot...advice-parents

There is a static that I love: In Finland, a nation that does not practice circumcision, only one in over 16,000 men will die without his foreskin. Contrast that to the U.S. where experts throw out figures ranging up to 10% of intact boys will need a circumcision at some point. Who do you suppose has it right?

I am confident that a bit of reading will ease your mind that your little guy is just fine, and you may end up cancelling that second opinion.

Good luck - and let us know how you get on.
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