Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I believe that circumcision is an electitive surgery that is almost totally useless. Here are a couple facts to learn about before your baby is born...
Circumcision should not be performed on infants with certain deformities of the penis that may require a portion of the foreskin for repair. The most common
condition for surgery using the foreskin is hypospadias, a congenital deformity of the penis where the urinary tract opening is not at the tip of the glans. Also, infants with a large hydrocoele or hernia may suffer important complications through circumcision. Premature infants and infants with serious infections are also poor candidates to be circumcised, as are infants with hemophilia, other bleeding disorders, or whose mothers had taken anticoagulant drugs. In older boys or men, circumcision is a minor procedure. Therefore, it can be performed in virtually anyone without a serious illness or unusual deformity.
The foreskin of the penis protects the sensitivity of the glans and shields it from irritation by urine, feces, and foreign materials. It also protects the urinary opening against infection and incidental injury.
In circumcision of infants, the foreskin is pulled tightly into a specially designed clamp, and the foreskin pulls away from the broadened tip of the penis. Pressure from the clamp stops bleeding from blood vessels that supplied the foreskin. In older boys or adults, an incision is made around the base of the foreskin, the foreskin is pulled back, and then it is cut away from the tip of the penis. Stitches are usually used to close the skin edges.
Despite a long-standing belief that infants do not experience serious pain from circumcision, most authorities now believe that some form of local anesthesia is necessary. The physician injects local anesthesia at the base of the penis or under the skin around the penis (subcutaneous ring block). Both anesthetics block key nerves. EMLA cream, a topical formula of several anesthetics can also be used.
After circumcision, the wound should be washed daily. An antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly may be applied to the site. If there is an incision, a wound dressing will be present and should be changed each time the diaper is changed. Sometimes a plastic ring is used instead of a bandage. The ring will usually fall off in five to eight days. The penis will heal in seven to 10 days.
Infants who undergo circumcision may be fussy for some hours afterward, so parents should be prepared for crying, feeding problems, and sleep problems. Generally these go away within a day. In older boys, the penis may be painful, but this will go away gradually. A topical anesthetic ointment or spray may be used to relieve this temporary discomfort. There may also be a "bruise" on the penis, which typically goes away with no particular attention.
Complications following newborn circumcision appear in one out of every 500 procedures. Most complications are minor. Bleeding occurs in half of the complications and is usually easy to control. Infections are rare and present with fever and signs of inflammation.