Is circumcision still painful? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son isn't circumcised, and I'm so relieved that I did my research when I was pregnant. Whether it's painful or not, it's still unreasonable to strap down a child and cut off a healthy part of his penis for no good reason.

 

I'm only asking if it's still painful out of curiosity. Some of the other message boards I've seen have people saying that the videos of babies being tortured without any pain medicine are outdated and used to scare parents. They often say their babies slept right through the circumcision. I've also seen videos where the baby is injected with pain medicine at the base of his penis and doesn't feel what's happening.

 

So which is it? Are babies normally tortured or is it likely that babies being born today will receive pain medication?

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#2 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 08:04 PM
 
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Most babies do not receive any sort of pain medication at all because it is risky to use it with a newborn. I once read somewhere that even when the injections are used, it does not stop all of the pain. Babies appear to be sleeping through it because they basically shut down from the pain and go into shock.

I saw 5 circs all right in a row, live and in person, and every single baby cried and screamed and made noises that I have never heard babies make before. I can't imagine that any of them sleep. Ever. None received pain medication because the doctor said that they don't feel the circ.

It is cruel. It always has been and always will be. Even with injections, can you imagine how painful it would be to have them in your genital area and then still feel part of your flesh being ripped, crushed and cut off? Then to sit with a raw wound in a diaper until it heals.... Not good.


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#3 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How did you see 5 circumcisions? Are you a nurse?

 

I just want to believe that the babies of parents who don't know any better have some kind of pain relief.

 

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Originally Posted by Lauren82 View Post

Most babies do not receive any sort of pain medication at all because it is risky to use it with a newborn. I once read somewhere that even when the injections are used, it does not stop all of the pain. Babies appear to be sleeping through it because they basically shut down from the pain and go into shock.

I saw 5 circs all right in a row, live and in person, and every single baby cried and screamed and made noises that I have never heard babies make before. I can't imagine that any of them sleep. Ever. None received pain medication because the doctor said that they don't feel the circ.

It is cruel. It always has been and always will be. Even with injections, can you imagine how painful it would be to have them in your genital area and then still feel part of your flesh being ripped, crushed and cut off? Then to sit with a raw wound in a diaper until it heals.... Not good.



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#4 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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umm I witnessed 3 in a row at Brigham and Woman's...no pain meds...gave them suga, in a room off the nursery area. It was the scariest thing I have ever witnessed  happen to a baby. they screamed bloody murder it was absolutely sickening. I witnessed this on a field trip in 12th grade in my allied health program.


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#5 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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It depends on the doctor and hospital policies but even if they are given such a medication, there is the healing. But that's all irrelevant anyway, your first paragraph sums up why very well. We could make all sorts of procedures painless, but that doesn't make them ethical or right.

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#6 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 08:32 PM
 
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I have seen quite a few circs as a nurse. I have seen only ONE baby sleep through it start to finish, and this was with lidocaine injections that the doctor was patient enough to wait for it to take effect.

 

At my place of work, most of the docs use bilateral lidocaine injections at the base of the penis (one or two were using just EMLA cream, but they no longer do circs, thank goodness). Lidocaine does seem to give decent pain relief, if properly placed, but the problem is that most of the doctors don't seem to wait long enough for the numbing to be complete.

 

The majority of them scream *horridly* at first, and then seem to fall asleep d/t basically shutting themselves off, as Lauren82 stated. Afterwards, they can't even have Tylenol, due to the risk. After the lidocaine wears off, they are so raw, and many scream in pain whenever the air hits their diaper area. It's pretty sad.


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#7 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post

It depends on the doctor and hospital policies but even if they are given such a medication, there is the healing. But that's all irrelevant anyway, your first paragraph sums up why very well. We could make all sorts of procedures painless, but that doesn't make them ethical or right.



My thoughts exactly.


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Originally Posted by major_mama11 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Fellow Traveler View Post

It depends on the doctor and hospital policies but even if they are given such a medication, there is the healing. But that's all irrelevant anyway, your first paragraph sums up why very well. We could make all sorts of procedures painless, but that doesn't make them ethical or right.



My thoughts exactly.



I totally agree.


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#9 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 08:56 PM
 
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i know you're not a circumciser, thank goodness. but this statement reflects how all parents who circumcise feel. and it's a big part of the problem of why the practice continues.
 

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Originally Posted by drs0410 View Post

 

I just want to believe that the babies of parents who don't know any better have some kind of pain relief.
 

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#10 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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I know someone who is a nurse and she is very anti circumcision.  She has seen many of them done.  She said, in her experience, when anesthetic is injected, the doctors begin the procedure almost immediately, saying "let's get this over with".  She said that the docs don't like doing them and just want to get them done quickly.  So, the poor kid gets the lidocaine injections, which sting like HOLY HELL if they are anything like what I got when I got my hand stitched up, then have to endure the cutting and ripping and cutting without the full effect of the anesthetic.  It's horrible that this is done to human beings and that anyone can be present and allow it.


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#11 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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I have seen hundreds of circumcisions, and every single baby screamed frantically through at least part of the procedure.  All the pediatricians at our hospital use lidocaine, but none wait--they all inject and immediately begin the circ.  


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#12 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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SO, SO thankful that we didn't put our beautiful son through such a horrific thing, just days after being welcomed into this world.

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#13 of 48 Old 12-19-2010, 10:05 PM
 
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SO, SO thankful that we didn't put our beautiful son through such a horrific thing, just days after being welcomed into this world.


That's what I have thought and felt SO MANY times these last 20 months of our son's life.  My heart ACHES when I imagine what could have been done to him.


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Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post

I have seen hundreds of circumcisions, and every single baby screamed frantically through at least part of the procedure.   



I was told by the OB that I went to for my second child that this happens because "Babies just dont like being strapped down but other than that they are fine."  irked.gif

 


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I believe that there is a place in the afterlife or karma or whatever you want to call it for the people who circumcise babies/children/anyone without their express permission.  What part of your soul do you have to kill to be able to do that to another living being?


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#16 of 48 Old 12-20-2010, 05:52 AM
 
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A friend of mine had her son circumcised in September and said it was just awful and that she will never get the image out of her mind, so I would say that "modern" pain relief is still not adequate.


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#17 of 48 Old 12-20-2010, 06:43 AM
 
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Another nurse here...I spent over a decade working as an RN in Obstetrics and also witnessed circumcisions as a nursing student. So I've seen circs by various doctors, various techniques and meds used. But  I have never once seen a baby not cry through a circ, with or without pain meds. The ones I witnessed who did get a dorsal penile block did seem to cry less, but they still cried. I do believe some of them going into a shock like state. Umm, yeah, babies don't like being undressed and strapped down. Sure, they fuss a bit when it happens but the cry is nothing like when the clamping and cutting start.


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Another nurse here...I spent over a decade working as an RN in Obstetrics and also witnessed circumcisions as a nursing student. So I've seen circs by various doctors, various techniques and meds used. But  I have never once seen a baby not cry through a circ, with or without pain meds. The ones I witnessed who did get a dorsal penile block did seem to cry less, but they still cried. I do believe some of them going into a shock like state. Umm, yeah, babies don't like being undressed and strapped down. Sure, they fuss a bit when it happens but the cry is nothing like when the clamping and cutting start.


seriously that is the truth


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I delivered ds at the largest teaching hospital in my state, and at our prenatal birth prep class the L&D nurse who taught it said to be sure to request anesthetic for the circ because not all doctors use it.  (It still blows my mind that no one seemed to think this was bad or even unusual.  She might as well have announced that they don't use anesthesia for baths.)  Later on, one of the moms who was planning to circ asked if it hurt, and to her credit the nurse said, "Oh yes, it hurts.  It's painful like labor."  She then went on to explain that once the clamp was applied or the plastibell string was tied, the nerves were crushed and "then it won't hurt anymore."  eyesroll.gif


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I delivered ds at the largest teaching hospital in my state, and at our prenatal birth prep class the L&D nurse who taught it said to be sure to request anesthetic for the circ because not all doctors use it.  (It still blows my mind that no one seemed to think this was bad or even unusual.  She might as well have announced that they don't use anesthesia for baths.)  Later on, one of the moms who was planning to circ asked if it hurt, and to her credit the nurse said, "Oh yes, it hurts.  It's painful like labor."  She then went on to explain that once the clamp was applied or the plastibell string was tied, the nerves were crushed and "then it won't hurt anymore."  eyesroll.gif


Wow.  Yeah, because when you lose a finger, or gouge out a part of your skin, or any other accident where you lose flesh, it definitely doesn't hurt.
 

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#21 of 48 Old 12-20-2010, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Reading these replies has me feeling even more relieved that my son never had to go through that. I can't believe that this is still going on. What's really horrible is that the medical community often leads ignorant parents to believe that they're doing what's best for their sons. Parents think their babies have to go through this torture to avoid diseases, infections, and humiliation in the future.Why isn't anyone taking the time to educate those doctors so that they can provide better information to the parents?

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#22 of 48 Old 12-20-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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I went through nursing school in 2006 and witnessed a circumcision where lidocaine was used.  The baby didn't cry at all, just whimpered a little and squirmed when they were tying him to the board.

 

Our instructor was very pro-circ and explained that she has watched them for the last 30 years without anesthesia and babies always "do fine".  Sure, they scream, but they do that just from being tied down.  She continued to explain that she sees no purpose in anesthesia, its just to make the parents feel better.

 

The thing is, she was explaining this *during* this baby's circumcision.  We were watching him not scream from being tied down, he wasn't screaming at all because he wasn't in pain.  Some of the students pointed this out, but the instructer seemed not to notice. 

 

A different instructor, and incidentally the only male instructor in our program, was very anti-circ.  He actually influenced some students against circ by agreeing with them that pain relief does matter and that babies are not just crying from being held down.  He said we would scream too if someone cut off the most sensitive part of our body without pain relief.  Some students were very influenced by him because he was a man and they felt he had more empathy than the female pro-circ instructor who didn't care that babies scream when anesthesia is not used.

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Originally Posted by kythe View Post

I went through nursing school in 2006 and witnessed a circumcision where lidocaine was used.  The baby didn't cry at all, just whimpered a little and squirmed when they were tying him to the board.

 

Our instructor was very pro-circ and explained that she has watched them for the last 30 years without anesthesia and babies always "do fine".  Sure, they scream, but they do that just from being tied down.  She continued to explain that she sees no purpose in anesthesia, its just to make the parents feel better.

 

The thing is, she was explaining this *during* this baby's circumcision.  We were watching him not scream from being tied down, he wasn't screaming at all because he wasn't in pain.  Some of the students pointed this out, but the instructer seemed not to notice. 

 

A different instructor, and incidentally the only male instructor in our program, was very anti-circ.  He actually influenced some students against circ by agreeing with them that pain relief does matter and that babies are not just crying from being held down.  He said we would scream too if someone cut off the most sensitive part of our body without pain relief.  Some students were very influenced by him because he was a man and they felt he had more empathy than the female pro-circ instructor who didn't care that babies scream when anesthesia is not used.


I actually might sort of agree with this bolded sentiment, strangely enough.  An adult WILL have adequate pain relief during circumcision, and if it's not adequate, he has the capacity to let someone know.  But, he is an adult, and I would imagine his options for pain relief are a lot different (more extensive, more effective) than for an infant.  I wonder if the "pain relief" used in RIC really is pain relief, even when properly done and when the circumciser waits an appropriate amount of time to begin forcibly separating the glans from the foreskin.

 

Where your female circumciser and I differ is that I could never agree that an infant is capable of being "fine" with having his foreskin ripped from his glans and amputated without any pain relief.

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In this particular case, I think anesthesia was effective. Maybe she had seen cases where anesthesia was not used effectively, but it bothers me that she doesn't see this as a fault with the anesthesia. She sees this as evidence that babies don't feel pain at all since they are just screaming as a normal part of the position they are placed in.
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#25 of 48 Old 12-20-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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Just a quick reminder of the forum guidelines:
Quote:
This is not a space to bash others. In an effort to minimize language which might alienate those seeking information, we are cautious about using pejorative terms such as abuse, barbarism, mutilation, etc. when routinely discussing circumcision. Let the facts speak for themselves

 
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#26 of 48 Old 12-20-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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This is to the OP. I couldn't get the quote thing to work right.

I saw circs when I was taking the classes to be a nurse aide. I was planning on going to nursing school to become a nurse midwife eventually. Our class got to spend the day at a very large inner city hospital and I ended up shadowing nurses in the nursery. It just so happened that an OB came in to perform circs and "my" nurse had to assist. I was only 17 years old when I saw them. I went into that room clueless and walked out an intactivist. I don't think I've witnessed anything else in my life that stunned and horrified me as much as that did.


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#27 of 48 Old 12-20-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drs0410 View Post

Reading these replies has me feeling even more relieved that my son never had to go through that. I can't believe that this is still going on. What's really horrible is that the medical community often leads ignorant parents to believe that they're doing what's best for their sons. Parents think their babies have to go through this torture to avoid diseases, infections, and humiliation in the future.Why isn't anyone taking the time to educate those doctors so that they can provide better information to the parents?



Here is the thing that boggles my mind, at my place of work (90%+ circ rate): even when presented with more info, parents, especially dads, here seem dead set on circ. Maybe the only answer would be for docs to just refuse to perform them.

 

I have been present many times when one of our (younger) pediatricians at work talks to the parents and obtains consent for the circumcision she is about to do. She *always* explains that there is no medical reason at all for circumcision, and that it is purely a cosmetic procedure. I have even seen her reiterate the cosmetic procedure aspect to a dad who was present as his infant was being strapped to the board. But I have never seen a dad change his mind about consenting to the procedure. (I've seen plenty of moms cringe, but then they still tend to defer to the dad's wishes).


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#28 of 48 Old 12-21-2010, 05:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by major_mama11 View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by drs0410 View Post

Reading these replies has me feeling even more relieved that my son never had to go through that. I can't believe that this is still going on. What's really horrible is that the medical community often leads ignorant parents to believe that they're doing what's best for their sons. Parents think their babies have to go through this torture to avoid diseases, infections, and humiliation in the future.Why isn't anyone taking the time to educate those doctors so that they can provide better information to the parents?



Here is the thing that boggles my mind, at my place of work (90%+ circ rate): even when presented with more info, parents, especially dads, here seem dead set on circ. Maybe the only answer would be for docs to just refuse to perform them.

 

I have been present many times when one of our (younger) pediatricians at work talks to the parents and obtains consent for the circumcision she is about to do. She *always* explains that there is no medical reason at all for circumcision, and that it is purely a cosmetic procedure. I have even seen her reiterate the cosmetic procedure aspect to a dad who was present as his infant was being strapped to the board. But I have never seen a dad change his mind about consenting to the procedure. (I've seen plenty of moms cringe, but then they still tend to defer to the dad's wishes).


Which goes to show that it is not about logic at all, which we knew - it is about hurt people hurting people.


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#29 of 48 Old 12-21-2010, 07:55 AM
 
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Sorry posting from a phone cant post links. Google "stang snellman circumcision practice patterns" for a pain relief survey among various specialties in various usa regions. This was published in the AAP journal, pediatrics.
Google "anna taddio circumcision" for a study on the long term consequences of circumcision trauma. Even children who had some pain relief for circumcision showed worse reactions to 6mo. vax. Than children never circumcised.
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#30 of 48 Old 12-21-2010, 10:00 AM
 
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Here are the links you wanted posted (i think) Plainand Tall

 

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/101/6/e5 

 

and

 

 

http://www.cirp.org/library/pain/taddio2/ 

 

 

also OMG I was pretty much horrified at my home states % when I checked out the first link.  I figured it would be bad, but wow.  Seems the OB's are particularly bad about not giving any type of anesthesia.


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Refbacks are Off