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#1 of 31 Old 01-26-2004, 11:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. I've posted threads on other forums, but not this one, so hello to you all.

My beautiful 15-month-old uncircumcised son has just been diagnosed by a urologist with buried penis. I'm still pretty upset and absorbing the news, but basically what I understand so far is that his penis is buried against his body under fat and other tissue and this can lead to infections and trouble urinating; it can also be hard on the boy's sexual identity, as he will look different from other boys, i.e. not as big. I had noticed when changing other boys' diapers that my son's penis didn't hang down like theirs, but I guess I was in denial, and he didn't seem to be in pain. Finally, I pursued my misgivings, and got this diagniosis.

The urologist recommended surgery--a rearrangement of my son's foreskin to cover the penis more normally, as the doctor put it. I am still doing a lot of research and question-asking and 2nd opinion-getting to figure out what the surgery will entail and if it is our only option. The surgery would require my son to be put under general anesthesia, which really scares me. I also hate the thought of him getting cut. I am also feeling terrified that he will not have a normal sex life, even though every indication is that he will probably be just fine. I just want to do what will be best for him in the long run.

So why am I writing to you? Well, I'm scared, grieving, and stressed, and I need support from as many sources as I can find it. I'm wondering if any of you have heard of this condition or have had experience with it. I'm wondering if any of you have had experience with babies going under anesthesia and have any information or advice for how to make things go as smoothly as possible for my son if we do have to do the surgery.

I really appreciate any responses. Thanks for listening.
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#2 of 31 Old 01-27-2004, 01:09 AM
 
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#3 of 31 Old 01-27-2004, 01:21 AM
 
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Wordmama:

I answered your questions at the Health and Healing board:

http://mothering.com/discussions/sho...29#post1047429

The jist of the message is that the urologist is not well educated on buried penis syndrome and further, it can not be diagnosed at such an early age. Please wait until your son is 3-4 years old. By that time, it is almost a certainty that he will outgrow this and be perfectly normal. That's not saying that he's not normal now. Males have a great variability in the size and shape of their genitals and your son just happens to be at one end of the range. At the other end of the range would be a boy with a very long penis and almost not enough foreskin to cover it. By the age of 3-4 years old, both extremes will move closer to the middle.




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#4 of 31 Old 01-29-2004, 04:50 PM
 
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Dear wordmama, sending HUGS to you!!

I saw the subject line of this thread so I had to read it because our firstborn also has this. However, I was shocked and startled by what your doctor said! We also noticed this very early on (I, too, saw that my son's didn't hang as my friend's babies did during diaper changes) and since my husband nor I had ever seen or heard of such a thing, we were a bit concerned. Sometimes it seemed his penis nearly disappeared! We asked the doctor about it at our next appointment and he said that it is actually quite common and not to be a concern at all, it is just extra pubic fat. To just keep up with normal hygiene and that he would outgrow it. He is now nearly 4 and is just fine! Since then, I have also seen other baby boys with the same thing and asked their moms and they all also had concern but were told by their doctors the same that I was, that it was common and to not be concerned. Our second son didn't have the condition at all but is also quite chubby. I really, really would get a second opinion and/or wait until he is older before considering such a serious surgery for your baby.

Of course you are the mama and thus you need to do what is best for your child, but please do follow your heart with this and research very carefully before listening to that doctor. Hugs and encouragment to you!

Krista

Salihah סליחה صالحه Mama to four boys, another due Dec 4th.
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#5 of 31 Old 01-30-2004, 12:32 AM
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I would NOT let my child go under general anesthesia for this, especially at this age. The risks just aren't worth it!
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#6 of 31 Old 02-01-2004, 04:42 PM
 
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Wow, I can't believe your doctor is advocating surgery for *this* at such a young age.

One of my newphews had the same "problem" (my SIL noticed it because his penis looked different than his big brothers) and it totally resolved itself. He was just pudgy and his penis "hid" in his fat. Now he's 7 with no problems and a perfectly normal (though circumcised ) penis.

If its not broke--- why fix it?

Kay

 

 

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#7 of 31 Old 02-01-2004, 10:34 PM
 
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Definitely get a second if not a third opinion. My first son had a lot of fat (always in the 90th percentile) and had a buried penis. I was told by several diff. pediatricians (we went through a few his first 2 years) that it was totally normal and it would self correct which it has. He's almost 3 and has slimmed out and is fine.
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#8 of 31 Old 02-02-2004, 09:59 AM
 
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OMG!! My husband has a "buried penis"....that HAS to be it!! My DH's penis basically looks like it isn't there...in fact, we call it the turtle. LOL!! I didn't check out the link on the other post because I was too excited to post my reply. LOL! As far as I know DH has never had any problem with infection and he certainly doesn't have any sexual problems.....this may be a tad low brow, but the, ah hem, turtle comes out of his shell when called upon...we joke that he is a virile superhero because we became pg with both kids when using bc. I can't speak for his penis, but I think everything is in full working condidtion....as far as penises go.

There are three things I learned about life. It goes on. -Longfellow

 

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#9 of 31 Old 02-02-2004, 11:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by abbylotus
OMG!! My husband has a "buried penis
Is he circed?
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#10 of 31 Old 02-03-2004, 01:48 AM
 
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Abbylotus:

Your message has piqued my interest. May I ask a few questions?

First, is your husband circumcised? Are you certain? I ask this because what you have described sounds like he is intact. Also because of an experience on another board where a mother and her husband circumcised their son so he would "look like dad" and then learned that Dad was intact.

Different men are different in this area. Some are long when flaccid and some are very short. However, when they are errect, almost all come close to the average size. It's a matter of the suspensory ligaments in some being tight and some being loose. There is also a rare condition where the child does not produce adequate testosterone during fetal development and the penis does not fully develop. These men can have a penis that looks similar to a large clitoris in extreme cases but this does not sound to be the case with your husband.

I suspect that your husband is intact and also has tight suspensory ligaments that pull his penis close to the body when he is not erect. Could you clear this up for us?




Thanks,

Frank
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#11 of 31 Old 02-03-2004, 05:43 AM
 
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i am most definately certain he is circed. i brought up this topic to him yesterday (the first time we had every discussed it seriously and not just light hearted "turtle" talking) and he was interested to know their was a technical name for his penis. he told me had never any infections.....we left it at that for now. i got the feeling that although he's happy to know now after 26 years he's not alone, it may have been painful NOT knowing all the years, and especially when he was young, that there is essentially NOTHING wrong or bad about his penis. in fact, i was his first sexual everything......honestly, i was concerned when i first saw his penis, however everything was in full working order, but we never talked about it. i have speculated to myself over the years as to why it looks the way it does.....was it because he is circed (he does have some scar tissue but i had seen that before on other circed penises), are his testicles just really large (they probably appear to be quite large because his penis is buried out of sight)...............in short of talking to my mil (whom circed all her boys. YUCK!), i thought i would never really know. this may be too much information (as if the above isn't, right?! lol), but i have noticed when he urinates he actually has to push back his testes a little for the tip to come out and then he goes. when he is in the bath tub on his back sometimes the head "pops" out a little, but generally his penis isn't hanging around....literally.

i really hope this helps and i would be happy to answer any questions regarding my husband's penis to the best of my ability....and will broach carefully some questions upon him if i can't help.

i think it is really important if your son was to truly have a buried penis to make sure he knows that there isn't anything 'bad' about it penis.......children can be so cruel and i fear my husband may have been the butt of many wise cracks back in his youth:-(

Abby

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#12 of 31 Old 02-03-2004, 05:50 AM
 
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frank......i had thought when i first saw my dh's penis that maybe it was just extremely small (however, quite large when erect....larger than any other i had ever seen) when flaccid but that really isn't the case because generally you really can't see anything when he is flaccid.

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#13 of 31 Old 02-03-2004, 07:35 AM
 
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I just wanted to add that before my ds#1 was born Parents ran a small article on what was rather sarcastically called "disappearing penis syndrome" by a ped writer in that mag.
Basically he referred to parents calling his practice to say that their sons penis was disappearing as the baby gained weight. No real problem other than the parents were concerned about it staying that way.

Had I not read that article I would have wondered what was up when my son looked like he had 2 belly buttons. Once he started walking and burning off the baby fat it "reappeared".

I wonder if the OP's baby is still pretty chunky? I agree with Frank about waiting until he's older.

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#14 of 31 Old 02-04-2004, 02:21 AM
 
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Thanks for the reply, Abby. That cleared up a lot of questions.




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#15 of 31 Old 02-06-2004, 07:46 AM
 
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My little boy (aged 10 months, and uncircumsized)) has a slightly buried penis. When you press the fat pad at the base of the penis shaft it sort of pops out and is normal length, but then retarcts again. The doctor said it will resolve itself as he gets older and loses his chubbiness. It's great to hear of others' experiences with this resolving itself. My son also has mild hypospadia (his urethral opening is underneath the head of the penis instead of at the tip) and incomplete foreskin due to this. The ped wants to see him again at age 1 and possibly do an examination under anaesthetic as it is difficult to see exactly what is going on. Anyway, one thing I have learnt in reasearching these conditions is that a buried penis should NEVER be circumsized, or it may get worse and be unable to resolve itself. Perhaps this is why your husband still has a buried penis as an adult. abbylotus. Pleased to hear it still "works" though
We have not decided what we will do if the ped reccommends surgery for our son. We are really torn on this issue. But we'll wait until the next appt before thinking on it more.
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#16 of 31 Old 02-06-2004, 10:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by NomD
MThe ped wants to see him again at age 1 and possibly do an examination under anaesthetic as it is difficult to see exactly what is going on.
That's odd. I'm assuming so he can retract him? That will just cause more problems if he's not already retracting.
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#17 of 31 Old 02-06-2004, 09:19 PM
 
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NomD:

A few recommendations:

First, there is a show that has aired several times recently on The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel and The Discovery Health Channel that addresses hypospaidius. It discusses the condition and also interviews adults who had the repair procedure as children. They were universally dissatisfied with the results. The title of the show was something like "What Am I" because it also addressed ambigious genitalia and transgenderism. It is an excellent show and a must see for any parent with a child with hypospaidius. If you have any problem finding it, let me know and I will help you get a copy.

Second, there is a new procedure for the repair of hypospaidius that has been developed in Scotland (I think) that does not require circumcision. It sounds like your son would be a candidate for this procedure. PM me and I will get you the information.

Third, it sounds like your son's condition is sufficiently mild enough that it does not/will not interfere with urination or reproduction and it's only effect will be cosmetic. That being the case, this is a decision that should be reserved for your son if he wants the surgery. If everything goes well, then everything is hunky dory but this procedure has a fairly high rate of complications some which will not be realized until your son reaches sexual maturity. Please be aware that your son may not agree with the necessity of a cosmetic procedure that has potentially severe sexual side effects and may call you to task 15 to 20 years from now. Consider carefully the effect that making the decision for him may have instead of reserving the decision for him. If he decides that the cosmetic effect is sufficient reason, then he has no one but himself to blame. I will tell you that very few adult men choose the procedure for themselves. there is also a tremendous controversy about it.






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#18 of 31 Old 02-06-2004, 10:22 PM
 
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Ann-Marie- the reason for the examination was because the ped was unable to see exactly what was going on re the hypospadia, as the foreskin was unusual, apparently. There is a very tiny opening (on the underside, it's shaped like a hood)so it's hard to see what is going on underneath. He thought around 1 it might be more obvious, but if not then needs to have a proper look without traumatizing our son, ie with our son anaesthetized. But I'll be asking a zillion questions before letting this go ahead.
Thanks for the advice, Frank. My DH and I have done a lot of reading and are reluctant for any surgery to go ahead. We think our baby is beautiful as he is and would rather teach him pride in his body than have him think we were ashamed of the way he looked. I would rather wait and let him make up his own mind as it is a mild case and won't affect fertility when he's older. It does affect his urination though, his urine stream directs downwards and I do hate to think of him feeling embarressed or different. We have an older son who has none of these probs and I can imagine our little one comparing himself to his older brother. It's a pretty tough call, and we will be putting a LOT of thought into it, we're going to wait and see what the ped recommends in a couple of months and take it from there.
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#19 of 31 Old 02-07-2004, 10:02 AM
 
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NomD:

Please let me make a suggestion and explain it.

What this doctor is planning on doing is forcibly retracting the foreskin for his examination. This is strongly contraindicated and you can find that information at both the AMA and AAP websites. This forcible retraction will possibly tear the preputial sphincter and will tear the normal adhesionsbetween the foreskin and glans. This can set your son up for repeated infections in his foreskin and glans. There is also the issue of the anesthesia which has it's own inherent risks.

As long as your son is having no problems, I strongly recommend avoiding this traumma and it's attendant possible complications by delaying the examination until your son is naturally retractible. This will probably be around 3 to 4 years of age but may be slightly later. By waiting, you will avoid the trauma and risk of complications. There will be no benefit realized by "catching it early" and your son will not become aware of any difference until he is at least 7 or 8 years old. If it is determined that the surgery will benefit your son, the later it is done, the larger the organ will be and the less likely there will be problems and the more likely there will be a satisfactory cosmetic outcome.

As for the downward urine stream, your son will adapt quite easily to just hold it a little higher. Consider that women have little control over the direction of the urine stream direction but handle it quite easily. Men have all of the control in the world and the downward deflection is not a major obstacle.




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#20 of 31 Old 02-07-2004, 08:41 PM
 
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Thanks Frank. You know, I hadn't really thought about the fact that the ped would be retracting the foreskin. I guess because when we saw him he didn't try to retract it at all, just sort of stretched it out and tried to look underneath that way, so I assumed that's what he would want to do again. I definitely would not wish my baby son to have to undergo a retraction, especially after reading your post! I'm also very worried about the anaesthetic, and I guess I have to really look at if the risk is really worth it. And at the moment I don't think it is. I agree that waiting would be much better. Everything I read seems to tell me it would be traumatic for an older boy to have anything done to his penis, but in a way I think it is more traumatic for a little baby who cannot tell you he is uncomfortable and scared, and who doesn't understand what is going on.
I was thinking about hypospadia surgery some more, and I was thinking (though I'm not sure), that boys who get this done end up circumsized, is this right? Because in this case, he would end up looking MORE different from other boys- I live in New Zealand, and I don't know ANY circumsized boys at all- it's very rarely done here-so what I'm saying is, it would actually defeat the whole purpose, cosmetically, if he had an op to look the 'same' as other boys and ended up circumsized and lookign more different, and had a whole lot of potential problems to boot. Ok, think I've totally turned myself off the surgery idea!.
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#21 of 31 Old 02-08-2004, 03:10 AM
 
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I think you are right on all points.

The trauma will be no different whatever the age. At an older age, you will be able to explain what is happening and he will be able to understand what is happening. He won't be able to understand now and that could have psychological rammifications.

The great thing about the Scottish procedure is that it preserves the foreskin. That's why it is cutting edge technology. In all other hypospadius procedures, the first thing that happens is a circumcision. The inner lining of the foreskin is used to fashion additional urethra and the rest of it is thrown away. The Scottish procedure does not use the foreskin lining so there is no need to circumcise for the raw materials.

Without going to look up the statistics, I think the highest the circumcision rate ever was in New Zealand was about 20% in the 1950's and it was then quickly abandoned. The current rate is about 1% or less and those are probably almost all Jews, Muslims or Americans living there. Your son would certainly be the odd man out. I'm also sure that New Zealand women would find it quite repulsive when he is an adult.

I am quite certain you are making a wise and informed decision to hold off on any intervention until you see if there are any significant problems.

Now, to something totally different but related. Since your son has a slight abnormality, I want you to be informed on this because it would be the natural tendency to associate this with the hypospadius when there is absolutely no relationship at all. When boys begin the separation process, the inner foreskin and the glans can pull unevenly at the remaining normal adhesions. It is quite normal for boys to have bouts of redness and even slight swelling of the foreskin. The foreskin is like lips in that it responds quite noticeably to any trauma such as this separation process. It's like a "Fat lip" from a slight bump. This can even be accompanied by a secretion that looks identical to pus. These episodes have a duration of 24 hours or less and there may be several of these episodes before the process of separation is complete. Don't be alarmed. This is all normal and natural and no treatment or medical intervention is necessary at all. It will go away just as quickly as it begins.

Good luck to you and your son!




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#22 of 31 Old 02-08-2004, 03:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Frankly Speaking
The great thing about the Scottish procedure is that it preserves the foreskin. That's why it is cutting edge technology. The Scottish procedure does not use the foreskin lining so there is no need to circumcise for the raw materials.



I just realized what I wrote: "Cutting edge" and "Raw" materials. LOL! No pun intended!




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#23 of 31 Old 02-08-2004, 05:36 AM
 
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(cutting edge! LOL)
Just wanted to sat thank you once again, Frank. It has been great talking this over. Most people I have tried to discuss it with have no idea what I'm talking about (which is fair enough, as not too long ago I was hearing the term hypospadia from our doctor and thinking "hypo-what-the?") and it's good to get another perspective. Just curious- how come you know so much? you're obviously extremely educated on this and other penis issues!
Thanks for sharing your knowledge with me.
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#24 of 31 Old 02-09-2004, 10:16 AM
 
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It's a combination of three things. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and study any and everything. I have been studying circumcision intensely for about three years and circumcision is never recommended for infants with hypospadius and I just hate to be wrong. I have helped 8 or 10 mothers with sons with hypospadius and when they ask me a question about this, I go and do the research to correctly answer the question. From doing all of the research, I know where to go for the information and also have a large group of people to help me find the answers. It all eventually adds up. I suspect that there are few doctors who have researched the issue as much as I have because this is a fairly rare condition affecting about 1 in 1,000 males or 1 in 2,000 babies. Few pediatricians will ever see a case and not many urologists.

By the way, do you know that there is a hypospadius discussion and support group at Yahoo? You may want to check them out.





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#25 of 31 Old 02-10-2004, 12:15 PM
 
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Wow. I'm glad I stumbled on this conversation. my 5 month old has a buried penis. I didn't recognize it as that until a few days ago. At first, I thought his foreskin might be infected since it felt puffy, but it wasn't red or hot. Then I realized it felt puffy because his penis wasn't there. ROFL! His penis is hiding in his copious fat and the foreskin isstill on the outside. I was debating asking his ped about it at his next appointment as was going to find somewhere to ask about it. Glad to hear it's normal and is because he's such a chunk (he's 5 mos, 18lbs and definitely not tall. LOL!). If I push his fat back, his penis pops back out, so I'm not worried about it at all. Definitely wouldn't want an operation. I dated a man with this "problem" a few years ago. He was circ'd so there was almost nothing showing when we wasn't erect. But like another woman posted earlier, the turtle definitely came out of his shell. LOL! He wasn't fat, though.

And on the hypospasdias issue. I don't know a terrible lot about it (but like Frank, I'm a knowlegde addict). but my husband has a very very minor case of it. He doesn't even know it, but I recognized it for what it was the first time I got a close up look (have never discussed it with him, though). Um, anyway, he has 2 normal looking urethral openings one above the other, joined by a slit. Really, if you don't look closely, it looks like he just has an extra long opening. I mean really long 0.5" maybe. It doesn't cause any problems other than he can't control where his stream goes very while while peeing and possibly that he drips a little more than normal while aroused. Sorry if that's TMI, but I haven't had so many lovers that I'm sure if it's normal or not, but he sure does a lot more than the men I've been with before. I also agree that I would leave the choice of cosmetic surgury up to my son when he is older and can make that choice himself. If the penis is functioning normally, then hypospasdias correction becomes cosmetic, IMO. But that's just my opinion.

Wendy
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#26 of 31 Old 02-10-2004, 03:30 PM
 
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It's good to hear another woman's husband also has a buried penis.....not in a weird or cynical way!!! LOL. My DH is probably over weight, but certainly not fat......I am going to check out his opening and see if their are two slits because he, too, is a tad "leaky". Very interesting...............



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#27 of 31 Old 02-13-2004, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, this has grown into a very interesting conversation. I wanted to let y'all know that we have decided to let time take care of things with my son's buried/hidden penis. As Frank said, if there's still a problem when he's older, we can address it then--with his consent and participation in the decision.

We had an appt. yesterday with a second pediatric urologist. I went in prepared to defend my desire to wait and not do surgery. He took the wind out of my sails by immediately pronouncing that nothing needed to be done and that my son would probably look just like the other boys by the time he hits the locker room.

I appreciated what abbylotus had to say about being sure to deal sensitively with talking to my son about the issue and preparing him for others' possible reactions and bs.

This forum was a HUGE help to me as I reacted to the first doctor's initial diagnosis and recommendations and sifted through info on the internet. Some of the resources I got pointed toward, like the ISNA website, really got me looking at my own biases about what's "normal" or "socially acceptable" when it comes to bodies. I think some of my initial feeling that we HAD to "fix" my son's "problem" was my desire to protect him from being teased or feeling different or flawed (things I had to deal with when I was growing up and continue to work through as an adult). Gradually, I came to realize that I shouldn't do surgery on him just to protect him from teasing if surgery was not medically necessary--and it doesn't appear to be necessary at this time.

Thanks again for your candid and heartfelt responses.
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#28 of 31 Old 02-14-2004, 05:52 AM
 
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Wordmama:

The best thing is seeing you arrive at a peaceful decision! Now that you have the information and the agreement from the doctor, I'm sure your life will be much calmer.




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#29 of 31 Old 02-18-2004, 05:53 PM
 
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My son also has this "buried penis" and was also born with an incomplete foreskin. I'm a little concerned for a couple of reasons, one being that he was never a chubby baby. He has always been 25th percentile in weight and 75th in height. I've also been concerned because I don't believe his circumcision ( ) was done correctly. He has some extra skin on one side that "healed too fast" according to his former pediatrician, and it grew somewhat attached to part of the base of his penis. The ped (former one) said it would grow out around 3 years of age and be fine, but she did instruct us to pull it back at every diaper change for a few months (that was a while ago).

So now I don't know if it's because of his circumcision or incomplete foreskin or simply this buried penis thing, or maybe a combination of all three that is causing it to not protrude. Our new ped seems a *little* more concerned but wants to wait to see if it does fix itself.

If only we had left it alone...
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#30 of 31 Old 02-18-2004, 08:48 PM
 
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The "growing back" is the body's attempt to put itself back to it's normal condition which is for the foreskin to be adhered to the glans in young boys. Normal is also for these adhesions to release on their own at sometime. It is normal for buried penis to normalize itself around 3 or 4 years old so no intervention should be allowed until your son is at least 4 years old and until his normal adhesions have released.

Congratulation on your wisdom to leave future sons as they arrive!



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