Doctor retracted at 4 month visit - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 50 Old 03-16-2011, 03:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laura* View Post

Hi - 

 

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

 

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

 

good to know!

 

Laura


That is really good information to know about how to place a cath. I hope that you took the time to explain to the Dr. how big a deal it actually was.

 
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#32 of 50 Old 05-12-2011, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update: My son is now close to eight months old.  We took him for his regular checkup a few weeks ago.  I decided to take him to a different pediatrician, in order to get a second opinion and ask the many questions that I had regarding what happened back in January.  I was very relieved to hear that and the new Dr. knew all about forced retraction and the problems that can arise as a result.  He examined my son (without retracting of course), and told me that everything looks normal.  I was so relieved to hear that!

 

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

 

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

 

Peter

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#33 of 50 Old 05-13-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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Thanks for asking this!

 

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

 

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

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#34 of 50 Old 05-13-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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Be on alert to prevent it. There are more Dr's out there than not who have no idea they shouldnt be trying to retract.

 
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#35 of 50 Old 05-14-2011, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Seili

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Hope this helps!

 

Peter

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#36 of 50 Old 05-17-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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I agree with Seili!  Thanks for posting and adding to this discussion, Peter J.  We are expecting a baby boy July 1 and are not circumcising.  I am the worrying type and I am terrified that some family member or pediatrician will retract the foreskin without our permission.  I'm not sure how to make sure this does not happen without stepping on toes or sounding like a jerk.  :-/  It makes me want to prevent anyone other than my husband or myself from changing our baby's diaper or bathing him!

 

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


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#37 of 50 Old 05-18-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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PeterJ - Thanks so much for the thread and advice on telling the ped. to back off. I'm afraid this will be an issue at my little guy's 6 mo check up next month...

 

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

 

Thanks!


  

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#38 of 50 Old 05-18-2011, 08:05 PM
 
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AAP Intact Care Guide http://www.cirp.org/library/normal/aap/ under foreskin hygein
Quote:
The uncircumcised penis is easy to keep clean. No special care is required! No attempt should be made to forcibly retract the foreskin. No manipulation is necessary.


 
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#39 of 50 Old 05-19-2011, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Howeberry -

 

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

 

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

 

Peter

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#40 of 50 Old 05-21-2011, 12:46 AM
 
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hey reborn, 

 

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

 

good luck - 

 

laura

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#41 of 50 Old 05-22-2011, 03:22 PM
 
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Thanks Laura, that does help. :)


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#42 of 50 Old 05-23-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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Just to add another data point to this thread, my son was retracted at his 6-month visit. It was a doc we'd never seen before, but everyone else in the practice seemed so foreskin-friendly, I was shocked! She must not have retracted him all the way, because he didn't even flinch. I took him to another ped a few days later because there was a weird looking "ring" around his penis and I wanted to make sure everything was ok. This ped examined him (obviously without retracting) and said it's probably just a normal anatomical variation that we'd never noticed before (I admit, I'd never closely examined his penis before the retraction, so that's very possible). She said that you can never say anything for sure, but long-term effects would be rare after a one-time partial retraction that caused no immediate bleeding, severe pain, etc. Of course she said that retraction is bad and to make sure it doesn't happen again, but she did make me feel a lot better about it. This just happened last week so I guess we'll have to see what the long-term effects are, if any. Obviously, we're switching pediatric practices. I guess I'm hoping this serves as a reminder to everyone to say something every time, even if you think you're in a safe place. 


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#43 of 50 Old 05-25-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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Peter, I apologize if I'm missing something here, so maybe my response/advice is not helpful, but -- why don't you just have the foreskin cut off?

 

Whether or not you belong to a faith which ritually follows circumcision -- I happily do -- if the idea is to spare your child pain or "mutilation", his foreskin seems to be creating for him discomfort and even pain now, and could cause him much worse later.

 

So either way, you as the father have to make important choices for your son. 

 

Am I missing something here?

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#44 of 50 Old 05-25-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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Hi ddhrewer welcome to the forum as you can see this place is called The Case AGAINST circ so our goal here is to keep all boys intact and to help parents with question that come up with the intact penis when Dr's are little to no help since circ used to be so prevelent here in the USA.

The boys foreskin is not causing him issues the op just wants to know what the odds are that it will and if he should be doing something different. Cutting something off just because it might cause issues later is not how things should be done.


 
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#45 of 50 Old 05-25-2011, 04:47 PM
 
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Thanks for the explanation.  What a parent decides to do on this issue is, of course, completely the choice of the parent, and I respect anyone who decides against non-ritual circumcision.  It doesn't seem as if there is overwhelming evidence that retention of the foreskin necessarily leads to disease.

 

I guess it just seems like there's so much medical evidence FOR circumcision based upon the foreskin's role in promulgating sexually-transmitted diseases, and such a relative paucity of medical evidence AGAINST circumcision, that .... why wouldn't a caring parent choose circumcision for his child? Or at least consider it. 

 

What's baffling me today, as I read the mind-boggling news coming out of San Francisco and Santa Monica, is why anyone would take it upon themselves to try and tell the rest of the world how to act on this issue.  Is the need to personally be at the helm of the Nanny State so overpowering that it cannot even be resisted on the topic of my son's foreskin? 

 

Bizarre and troubling. 

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#46 of 50 Old 05-25-2011, 05:13 PM
 
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The ban on circumcision is about increasing individual rights not taking away parental rights.  I don't know about you but I am sure glad my parents didn't have a say in which body parts I was allowed to keep, since I'm a girl.  I want my son's to be able to have the right to their whole body,  I want that for all the son's out there. 

 

STD prevention is a myth and the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of keeping boys intact, if you read more then just news articles. 

 

I care very deeply about my boys, I want all the best for them.  That is why we kept them intact.


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#47 of 50 Old 05-25-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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Hi, ddhrewer. Welcome to MDC. I want to gently point out to you that the name of the forum you are posting in is "The Case Against Circumcision." Our forum guidelines are stickied to the top of the forum:
Quote:
Mothering questions routine medical circumcision and advocates for informed consent. TCAC hosts discussion of the reasons to avoid circumcision, the history of the procedure, medical issues and studies, complications, the needs and rights of the child, care of the intact child's penis and other educational topics. We are not interested in hosting discussion on merits of routine infant medical circumcision
.

I do hope you stick around and take the time to look around the forum a little bit. You may be very surprised by what you learn.

 
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#48 of 50 Old 05-26-2011, 03:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddhrewer View Post

I guess it just seems like there's so much medical evidence FOR circumcision based upon the foreskin's role in promulgating sexually-transmitted diseases, and such a relative paucity of medical evidence AGAINST circumcision, that .... why wouldn't a caring parent choose circumcision for his child? Or at least consider it. 

 


Because it's not MY choice to make. It's my son's. It's his body. And he is not old enough to consent to an elective cosmetic procedure. Simple, really.

 


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#49 of 50 Old 05-26-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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I am in college to become a medical biller and coder, and we just learned about the male reproductive system (and how to code for different tests and problems associated with this system).  When I read the section on circumcision in my medical textbook (The Language of Medicine, 9th edition), it says that most doctors start to retract the foreskin at 5 months and instruct parents to do the same to avoid problems later on in life. 

 

But.... when I read the two books I recently bought on Amazon.com on circumcision (Circumcision Exposed and Say No To Circumcision), it says to never retract the foreskin until it is ready to be retracted.  It says in both books that this usually happens in the preteen ages (8-12) and the foreskin becomes completely retractable in the teens around 13-16 years of age.  The books say that the reason the foreskin doesn't retract in infancy is because its a protective measure to keep the glans healthy, and that forcebly retracting too soon can cause scarring/adhesions and infections, due to raw skin exposed. 

 

So, it goes to show you that books that are written by US doctors will commonly have false information about circumcision, because its uncommon to see an intact penis in the US, so most doctors don't know how to deal with that (they are used to the other way around).

 

For the person who wants to take her baby to a urologist, DON'T!!!  The urologist I see for a neurogenic bladder does circumcisions routinely, and I have heard many of times a baby screaming in agony from having a circumcision done when I have been in the waiting room.  It brings tears to my eyes everytime when I hear that and I just want to punch the doctors teeth out when he performs that and causes so much pain to those infants.  Urologist are just as "circumcision-happy" as standard pediatricians.

 

Jessie

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#50 of 50 Old 05-26-2011, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ddhrewer,

 

I have no intention of having my son circumcised, because his foreskin is not causing him any pain or discomfort whatsoever.  The temporary discomfort was caused by an uneducated Pediatrician who forcibly retracted my son's foreskin at four months, which led to my original post and the beginning of this thread.  Even if it was causing him discomfort, there are numerous treatments available to enable him to retain a valuable part of his body and avoid unnecessary and potentially dangerous surgery, before circumcision is even considered as an option.  As a parent, I *am* making important choices for my son, including allowing him to keep his penis intact, contributing to the health of his penis and his future sexual health and wellbeing, and avoiding circumcision for the sake of following a cultural norm and the miniscule chance that it may cause him some difficulties in the future.  Often these 'difficulties' are misdiagnoses by urologists who do not understand the difference between physiological and pathological phimosis of the foreskin, incorrectly believing that a boy should be able to retract by a certain given age.  There is a great deal of educating to do in order to inform people that the foreskin has a function in the health of the penis and is not a valueless piece of tissue to be lopped off at the first sign of trouble, or worse, when there is no sign of trouble at all.

 

However I agree with you that mandating on this issue is not the way forward.  Education is the way forward.

 

Peter

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