Circumcision repair for my 16 month old son next Wednesday. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you guys prepare me for surgery? I know how hard it will be for me but what can I do for ds? I have essential oils, homeopathic kits, vitamins....what do I need to do before surgery?

A little about why. We had ds circumcised at birth. I didnt want to do it but dh insisted. Why I didnt just say "too bad", I dont know. Anyway, ds basically look like he was not circumcised. The skin hangs down over the penis where just the head of the penis barely shows. There is also a hole in the foreskin. Apparently, the nitrate strips (is that was they are called) burned a hole through the skin. You can pull the skin all the way up and over the penis and look straight through the hole. The urologist said he was lucky it only made that hole. It could have done much worse. He asked if it was ok to show his nurse. She was busy so I got him dressed and prepared to leave. He came back and asked could I please undress him one more time, he just needed to show her this. He has never seen anything like it before. He did say he repairs 500 circumcisions a year.

So, here we are a week from surgery. What can I do to help him through this? My new ped (love her!) and Gitti have both told me to make sure they dont cut off too much skin. That that could cause more problems later. What do I say to the doc to make sure he is not cutting off too much? The way I understood it was he was just going to remove the extra skin which would take away that big hole too.

Thanks a bunch!!
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#2 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 03:46 PM
 
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Is this surgery for cosmetic reasons only? If so, I would not have the surgery done, and wait for your son to have it done *if he chooses to* as an adult.

What you have described (if I read it correctly) doesn't sound like a functional or medical problem. If it is, please correct me
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#3 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 03:53 PM
 
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He has a hole in his foreskin. I think that would be the non cosmetic problem.
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#4 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 03:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Minky
He has a hole in his foreskin. I think that would be the non cosmetic problem.

I think what the PP meant, is does it seem to hurt or bother him?

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Originally Posted by Thundersweet
What do I say to the doc to make sure he is not cutting off too much? The way I understood it was he was just going to remove the extra skin which would take away that big hole too.
Since he's only 16 months old, IMHO, maybe you should hold off on the corrective surgery for a while, at least until his penis is larger. I have a 15 month old son so I know how tiny those penises are Unless the hole is getting worse, or seems to bother him it's probably best to wait until the urologist have more to work with.

Again, just my honest opinion.

~Nay


~Nay

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#5 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 04:01 PM
 
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Yeah I came back in here because I had another tought, wouldn't it be possible to stitch the hole rather than cutting off more skin?
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#6 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, it looks very bad. I guess it would be cosmetic. I did this to him. I made the stupid decision to have him circumcised. How can I leave it and expect him to deal with it later. Dh said he would definitely need it done at some point. The problem is at this point and time the doctor is fighting with our insurance company. They dont want to pay for it. Its possible it will be canceled based on that. I am sitting here waiting to here back from her. It was supposed to be taken care of by noon. Its now almost 2:30. So if I wait, which I would be inclined to do....I lose the ability for our insurance to pay for the entire surgery. The doctor said they normally wont approve them past 2 months. But he felt 100% sure that would approve this one.
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#7 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 04:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Minky
Yeah I came back in here because I had another tought, wouldn't it be possible to stitch the hole rather than cutting off more skin?
:


I also agree with Nay about waiting if at all possible until his penis grows more. The tinier it is, the more vulnerable, obviously, because there is indeed so little to work with. And 500 repairs a year of other doctor's circumcision disasters speaks very loudly to me.

Poor little guy. Hugs to you, mama.
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#8 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And 500 repairs a year of other doctor's circumcision disasters speaks very loudly to me.
Poor little guy. Hugs to you, mama.
Yes it does!
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#9 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 04:39 PM
 
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I wonder about this too. If it's cosmetic, you should leave it for him to fix later. I would be SO worried about too much being taken off. There is no way for them to know what too much is at this age. When he's grown, they will be able to tell much better. The penis is going to grow and change so much with puberty, you don't know what any removal will do, that is why they perform loose circs nowadays, trying to prevent all the trouble with insufficient skin.
Removing a tiny bit of skin now can turn out to be a much bigger bit of skin that is missing later.
If it's cosmetic, I think you should just leave it. This is the exact same logic that applies to not circing in the first place (I'm really not trying to flagellate you, sorry). It's cosmetic, so why is it your responsibility to decide what his penis should look like? Yes, sometime down the road you're going to have to pick up your cahones and admit to him that you did a wrong thing to him. But that's going to have to happen regardless of 'repairing' this or not.
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#10 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The penis is going to grow and change so much with puberty, you don't know what any removal will do, that is why they perform loose circs nowadays, trying to prevent all the trouble with insufficient skin.
I did not know this. They are now doing them loose? Even my holistic wonderful ped said she thought something should be done but just not to cut too much. Maybe I should schedule a quick appt with her to take a look again tomorrow since she looks at many little penises.
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#11 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 05:01 PM
 
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I would also wait until later. Who knows- he might think it's cool later.... But really, if they're going to fix it by cutting off MORE I absolutely would not do it. Think- they will be taking away that much more sensation and that much more possibility of a semi-normally functioning penis (of course it will never be normal, but if he has enough foreskin to at least cover the head now that is better than many...)

just my $.02

-Angela
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#12 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 05:26 PM
 
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I would absolutely wait. What may seem like a "big" hole now may be inconsequential in ten years. And besides, you really don't want to remove what foreskin he has left!
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#13 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 05:31 PM
 
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He has a hole in his foreskin. I think that would be the non cosmetic problem.
I guess I should have been a little more clear. If the hole does not affect the basic function of his penis, and "fixing" it would be just so that it would look "better" then I would consider that cosmetic and optional. If that were the case, then I, personally, would not further alter my child's genitalia.
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#14 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 05:40 PM
 
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You should cancel the surgery. You never wanted him circ'd in the first place. He was lucky enough to be left with much of his foreskin. Why would you now take the rest of it from him? Have you read about the functions of the foreskin? Any more cutting is only going to further the damage and loss.

Why would you do cosmetic surgery on a child's genitals? It's not like a body part that everyone is going to see. The hole might even close up on it's own.

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#15 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 05:43 PM
 
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What alternatives have the doctors given to you? Why can’t the hole be slit and stitched closed with no removal of more skin?

The only way I can see you knowing how much is being taken off is to have the doctor draw with pen on the skin exactly what will be removed. Otherwise, like going to the barber for a haircut, a little trim may end up being scalped. In addition, unless your husband is now horrified at the thought of his child being circumcised (again), then there is nothing stopping him from requesting to have all the remaining skin lopped off.

I am not in your shoes, but you said that you didn’t want it to be done at birth and lament “Why I didn’t just say "too bad", I don’t know.” Don’t just hope, don’t just wish, make sure that your son is treated fairly. I would think that the best course of action would be to excise the scar tissue (which I assume is through the double fold of the skin), cut an incision between them and stitch the now straight line back together.

By the way, the money you get from suing the doctor should be enough to cover the surgery, and then some. I would suggest taking photos before the procedure, and getting the current doctor’s notes for evidence.
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#16 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I dont know what to do now. He is not being re-circumcised. The urologist is going to remove some of the loose skin that hangs and along with that the hole would go. The hole itself is getting bigger. It started out the size of maybe a stud earing and is now bigger than a pencil eraser. Bigger and more oval shaped. The skin hangs and droops. He doesn't look like he was left intact or circumcised. It just looks strange. Dh says it will affect the way he feels about his body later. He will hide it and be embarrased. My mom, a nurse, told me she thinks it needs to be done. She has seen many of both uncircumcised and circumcised and says he looks like neither. Her opinion was to spare him the embarrasment later and get it taken care of with clear instruction to the doc about removing too much skin. I just don't know. I have some thinking to do. I wish I could show a picture but that would be wrong.
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#17 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 06:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thundersweet
I dont know what to do now. He is not being re-circumcised. The urologist is going to remove some of the loose skin that hangs and along with that the hole would go. The hole itself is getting bigger. It started out the size of maybe a stud earing and is now bigger than a pencil eraser. Bigger and more oval shaped. The skin hangs and droops. He doesn't look like he was left intact or circumcised. It just looks strange. Dh says it will affect the way he feels about his body later. He will hide it and be embarrased. My mom, a nurse, told me she thinks it needs to be done. She has seen many of both uncircumcised and circumcised and says he looks like neither. Her opinion was to spare him the embarrasment later and get it taken care of with clear instruction to the doc about removing too much skin. I just don't know. I have some thinking to do. I wish I could show a picture but that would be wrong.

Okay, not to be harsh, but your dh who INSISTED that you circ your infant son in the first place thinks he'll be embarassed? What does he know? He doesn't have ANY foreskin.

Your mom is a nurse, sure she's seen a few intact people- has she asked them what they think? of course not.

If they are taking off more skin, they ARE re-circing him, no matter if they try to call it something else to make you happy.

It's your son's penis. Let him be the one to decide.



-Angela
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#18 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 06:45 PM
 
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Thundersweet, I agree with the others who suggest waiting - or at least finding out if there is a less drastic way to fix the hole. Another circumcision sounds to me like using a fingertip-to-shoulder cast for a broken pinky.


As for the insurance - my insurance does not cover infant circumcision (they classify it as cosmetic), AND they don't cover treatment of complications of cosmetic surgery. So if I were in your shoes, none of the treatment would be covered.

Someone earlier commented that your son might think the hole is cool later - that made me think of people that WILLINGLY have their genitals pierced! If your son turned out to be one of those people, he'd be ahead of the game, wouldn't he?

I hope you don't take my comments to be overly flip or callous. I empathize with your situation, and I truly hope you and your son's doctors can come up with a solution that makes sense for everyone (and doesn't just ensure that the urologist can make his Corvette payment this month).

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#19 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 06:46 PM
 
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I did not know this. They are now doing them loose? Even my holistic wonderful ped said she thought something should be done but just not to cut too much. Maybe I should schedule a quick appt with her to take a look again tomorrow since she looks at many little penises.
Hi Sandy,
To my understanding the major complication with a loose circumcision is adhesions. But this is only a complication from the perspective of circumcision being normal. When you think about it from intact being normal, you learn that in infants and many young boys (pre-pubescent) the foreskin is adhered to the head of the penis. This is how it is designed, it is supposed to be this way. It is adhered to the penis in the same way that your fingernail is adhered to the nail bed. So if you were to have left the penis intact, the foreskin would be adhered to the head. You would not mess with this at all. Ever. You would let the boy do what he wanted to it (it's his penis, he knows what hurts), but you nor a doctor would ever retract the foreskin.
Many boys lose this adherence by age 5, many do not. In nearly all boys, this is lost by or during puberty. So once the body has naturally separated the two surfaces of skin, the foreskin will retract easily and comfortably.
To retract it before that time will cause trauma both to the skin (foreskin and the head) and to the ring of tissue at the end of the foreskin by stretching it before it has softened into elasticity.

So for your son's situation, this ring of tissue at the end of the foreskin has been removed. This is no longer something to worry about damaging by early retraction. But he does still have some of his foreskin and in many boys with loose circumcision, the remaining foreskin will adhere to the head of the penis, which was the state it was in before the circumcision. There is nothing wrong with this adherence. It is normal and should be left alone. There is nothing wrong with still having this tissue here. It means that your son still has his frenulum (which is one of the most sensitive parts!) and if he's lucky, it might mean that as an adult he will be able to stretch out his foreskin enough to recover the head. When the foreskin is stretched back over the head of the penis, the glans will again become slick and lubricated, moist, as it is in intact men. This restores a lot of sensitivity to the circumcised penis.

So a loose circ in and of itself isn't necessarily anything to 'fix'. This part wasn't botched. I agree that the hole is something you need to seek monetary redress for. But polarbear has a good idea, just clearing out the scar tissue and stitching it all back together. Or maybe superglue. They use glue in a lot of surgeries now, b/c sometimes stitches are too big and clumsy and can cause more damage and scarring.

Now, all that being said, Frank or someone else may come along and correct some of what I've written if I am in error. If so, I will make appropriate edits.
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#20 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 06:52 PM
 
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Thundersweet, your son won't think it's weird unless someone tells him it's weird (and I pray that your DH would never say such a thing to his son). Children tend to assume that whatever they are familiar with is normal.

My sons are 11 years old, and as far as I know they have not looked at other boys' genitals, nor has anyone looked at theirs. When my sons learned about circumcision (and that it was done to their Dad), they were shocked. They knew his penis looked different from theirs, but they just assumed that he kept his foreksin retracted. Possibly they figured that his looked like an adult penis (complete with pubic hair), while theirs were still kid-style.

My kids are worried about their acne - which shows - but they are dealing with it. They never think twice about what others think of their penises - because no one ever sees them.

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#21 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 07:05 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you're going through this. Is there any possibility the hole can be fixed with a skin graft? I don't know if grafted skin is flexible enough for erections later in life, but I would urge you to investigate it, just in case.
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#22 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 07:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thundersweet
Dh says it will affect the way he feels about his body later. He will hide it and be embarrased. My mom, a nurse, told me she thinks it needs to be done. She has seen many of both uncircumcised and circumcised and says he looks like neither. Her opinion was to spare him the embarrasment later and get it taken care of with clear instruction to the doc about removing too much skin. I just don't know. I have some thinking to do. I wish I could show a picture but that would be wrong.
Ok, so DH has weighed in, mom has weighed in, the money grubbing surgeon has weighed in, what does your son think should be done with his penis? Oh wait, he can't speak for himself so basically all these people are mucking around with his penis, talking about cutting even more of it off bc it offends them, because in their esteemed opinions- which let's face it, hasn't done his penis much good up to this point- it will bother him when he's older. Where's my crystal ball, I wanna be able to see into the future, too!

Let me see, how shall I put this? Hmmmmm....

LEAVE HIS FREAKING PENIS ALONE

Unless it's medically necessary don't cut any MORE pieces of of it, for cripes sake, and tell your DH to piss off if he doesn't like it. I mean, my god, what's the goal here ? To cut the whole thing off? He only has so much penis he can part with before he has none left.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh but learn from your mistakes already....and go forth and tell everyone you meet what happened to your son and how horrible RIC is.
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#23 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 07:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thundersweet
I dont know what to do now. He is not being re-circumcised. The urologist is going to remove some of the loose skin that hangs and along with that the hole would go. The hole itself is getting bigger. It started out the size of maybe a stud earing and is now bigger than a pencil eraser. Bigger and more oval shaped. The skin hangs and droops. He doesn't look like he was left intact or circumcised. It just looks strange. Dh says it will affect the way he feels about his body later. He will hide it and be embarrased. My mom, a nurse, told me she thinks it needs to be done. She has seen many of both uncircumcised and circumcised and says he looks like neither. Her opinion was to spare him the embarrasment later and get it taken care of with clear instruction to the doc about removing too much skin. I just don't know. I have some thinking to do. I wish I could show a picture but that would be wrong.
Ok, I know you are feeling badly about this, so just remember I'm saying this very gently--this operation WOULD BE re-circumcising him. "Removing some of the loose skin that hangs" is removing more foreskin--just making a tighter circumcision. The hole would be removed with this extra skin being cut, but at what cost? This could cause all sorts of problems. Painful erections, hair on the shaft of his penis from the skin being stretched too tight...just a host of issues that he won't have if you just leave him be.
No one can tell you how he'll feel about his body later. If you just leave it, and in 10-15-20 years from now he IS bothered by it, he can absolutely opt for the surgery! No problem! But he can never, ever, ever get it back if it's taken away from him. One of the many, many problems with circumcision is that a dr can't tell how much skin is "too much". You don't know how a penis will grow, or how much skin is too much. It's all guess work. ALL of it. From the very first cut, it's guesswork. I have been with men who have had a tight circumcision. I won't go into detail, but it's not something I would wish on any man--or their sexual partner. Please please please, just leave your baby alone for now. You can ALWAYS revisit this when he is older, and when he has a say.

And I have to add one more thing. It does not matter to anyone--not your dh, not your mother, not you, not ANYONE--if your son's penis looks "strange". What are they going to do, frame it and hang it in the dining room?? It's not theirs (or yours) to make "look pretty". It matters ONLY to him, and his future sexual partners. It's not a mantle decoration, it doesn't matter if it's not asthetically pleasing to anyone BUT him.
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#24 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by InDaPhunk
Ok, so DH has weighed in, mom has weighed in, the money grubbing surgeon has weighed in, what does your son think should be done with his penis? Oh wait, he can't speak for himself so basically all these people are mucking around with his penis, talking about cutting even more of it off bc it offends them, because in their esteemed opinions- which let's face it, hasn't done his penis much good up to this point- it will bother him when he's older. Where's my crystal ball, I wanna be able to see into the future, too!

Let me see, how shall I put this? Hmmmmm....

LEAVE HIS FREAKING PENIS ALONE
I totally agree! Thundersweet, this post is harsh-sounding, but every word is truthful. Please read it again and take it to heart.

And I'm so, so sorry that you and your son are in this situation. I can't imagine the thoughts and emotions I'd have. You WILL get through this, though. Stay strong.
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#25 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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to you, mama. Sounds like you're getting a lot of pressure from the people around you - your dh, your mom, your doctor, etc. - but I agree with the previous posters, unless there's a MEDICAL reason for the surgery, it should wait until your son is older.

If he's fully grown, there will be no question about his penis size and how much skin he needs to accomodate a full erection. My understanding of the way that doctors do adult circs is that they have the man achieve an erection and then mark the skin to be cut with a marker. Obviously in a baby you're not going to know how much skin to take off.

My ds was born in 1967 and evidently very tight circs were in style at his hospital. It has caused curvature and can be very uncomfortable for him when he's aroused. IMO you just do not want to run the risk of making things worse.

As far as the teasing issue - really, I don't think it will be an issue. The whole "locker room" thing is way overblown. As long as no one in your family makes your son feel ashamed or inferior, he will grow up with healthy self-esteem. You can teach him to value himself no matter if he has differences from the other kids - whether he wears glasses, his ears stick out, he has freckles, or a different-looking penis, there's always something to tease about. The way to deal with bullying is to love your child and support him, not perform cosmetic surgery on him.

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#26 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The surgery was approved. I still do not know what I am going to do. I rescheduled it until mid January. I do think some of you are being very harsh. The nurse read me what was in the report. It basically says he has redundant forskin with a large hole on the right side. I spoke with her about my problem with all of this. She did say that most of their patients are 14-16 years old. They also do alot of circumcision on intact boys who make the decision to have it done. But for the most part its removing the redundant skin. Basically like my son I guess.

For now, I will wait and do a little more reading. My sons penis looks like a mushroom. That the closest I can describe it. It does not just come down neatly. Its just all at the end bunched up and open. Like a mushroom top.
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#27 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 07:49 PM
 
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BTW, wtf is the dr doing showing his nurse your kid's penis? Why would he even ask you that? What business is it of hers? Is she in medical school and currently studying Male Genitalia and the Things We Amputate From Them? Was it just fun for him to say "Check out how f u this kid's penis is! I hope people keep circing so that I can make enough for the Porche I've been wanting. Re-circs are where it's at, baby".

You're son's penis will probably look far more normal when he gets older than you think. All penises look different anyway, circed or intact. How it feels to him, that's what's important. And more tissue means more feeling.


edit: for misspelling of 'genitalia',
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#28 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 07:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thundersweet
The surgery was approved. I still do not know what I am going to do. I rescheduled it until mid January. I do think some of you are being very harsh. The nurse read me what was in the report. It basically says he has redundant forskin with a large hole on the right side. I spoke with her about my problem with all of this. She did say that most of their patients are 14-16 years old. They also do alot of circumcision on intact boys who make the decision to have it done. But for the most part its removing the redundant skin. Basically like my son I guess.

For now, I will wait and do a little more reading. My sons penis looks like a mushroom. That the closest I can describe it. It does not just come down neatly. Its just all at the end bunched up and open. Like a mushroom top.
If you are worried about what your son's penis looks like now, please go here:
http://www.circumstitions.com/Restric/Botched1sb.html
and take a look around at some "neat circumcisions". All to make it look "neat" and "not strange".

And "redundant foreskin" makes no sense at all. The foreskin is not "redundant", as there is no other organ that does what the foreskin does.

I'm sorry that some of this is coming across as harsh. But someone with a scalpel already screwed up when futzing around with your sons penis, why on earth would you let someone ELSE near it?
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#29 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 07:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thundersweet
...redundant forskin...(
What is that?
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#30 of 94 Old 12-08-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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Terrible situation. I agree that you now have a second chance to make a better decision. You can't go back to before it was done, but you can choose to not make it any worse now.

I understand you that the hole is getting bigger. Does it seem to cause him any discomfort? Is it hard to clean? Given that it is getting bigger, I would probably consider fixing it also. I just wouldn't cut more off just to get rid of the hole. I agree with the other posters who said why not cut from the hole to the end of the foreskin, then sew it up?

I am glad that you posted. Hopefully you will get support (even those who are being blunt really are trying to get you to do the best you can with the current situation) and you will also be an example to other moms who may come here trying to make the circ decision - that problems really do occur and you can get yourself into more complications and issues by choosing circ.

I really wouldn't let the doctors cut more of his foreskin off.
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