For many years, doctors were performing what is known as a "high and tight" circumcision. After the procedure, all of the baby's foreskin was gone and the glans fully exposed, leaving an end result that looked very much like a circumcised adult.
-tight painful erections,
-penis wildly curving to one side,
-chafing and tearing of the circumcision scar tissue, and
-scrotal skin pulled up onto the shaft of the penis resulting in "hairy shaft".
All of these problems are the result of having too much skin being removed. After a circumcision revision surgery, a child may indeed look more “like daddy” but he is also subject to all of the above complications that come with having a tight circumcision. These complications not only lead to a great deal of discomfort for the circumcised man, but also for his sexual partner(s). Men experiencing these issues can find some relief from stretching the remaining skin using non-surgical foreskin restoration techniques. Foreskin restoration is painless but it is a slow, arduous process to undergo.
Knowing what we now know about the complications of high and tight circumcisions, many doctors today are doing what is called a "loose circumcision", where more of the foreskin is left behind for the child to grow into. Sometimes initially this makes the child look like he isn't really circumcised, but with time and recession of the fat pad the child grows into the remaining tissue and eventually realizes the expected aesthetic effect of circumcision.
Unfortunately not all doctors are aware of the shift towards the loose circumcision. Upon encountering a child with today’s loose circumcision, an uninformed doctor may pressure the child’s parents to "revise" something that requires no revision whatsoever. This is why we are seeing a sharp increase in circumcision revision surgeries at this time. Again, these surgeries are overwhelmingly unnecessary and are a result of doctors who are uninformed on this issue.
Risks Associated With Circumcision Revision Surgeries
Because circumcision revision surgery is strictly cosmetic (not medically needed for the health of the child), any complications of the surgery are 100% avoidable by simply not opting for the procedure. Learn more about the lifelong complications caused by circumcisions and circumcision revisions here (graphic):
-Gallery of Botched Circumcisions
-Circumstitions: Complications of Circumcision
-Global Survey of Circumcision Harm: Photo Gallery of Damage
-Historical Medical Quotes on Circumcision: Circumcision Complications
In addition to complications of the circumcision surgery itself, there are also many concerns that go with use of general anesthesia in infants and children. "Examples of side effects are nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, sore throat, shivering, aches and pains, discomfort during injection of drugs, and agitation upon awakening from anesthesia... Adverse effects... may include dental trauma, croup (swelling of the windpipe), allergic reactions to drugs or latex products, wheezing, vocal cord spasm or injury, regurgitation of stomach contents with subsequent aspiration pneumonia, injury to arteries, veins or nerves, alterations in blood pressure, and/or irregular heart rhythms. Death and brain damage are the most feared of all anesthetic risks, but fortunately these complications are extremely rare." (Source: Society for Pediatric Anesthesia)
Questionable Motives of Doctors Recommending Recirumcision
A recent study has revealed that surgical repairs are big business for hospitals. In 2010, an unnamed, nonprofit 12-hospital chain in the southern U.S. was paid more than double when treating surgical patients who had complications compared to those who only underwent the initial surgery. There is zero profit to be made in a child that requires no further surgical modification, however there is great profit to be made in convincing parents that their child needs further surgical modification to his penis after the initial circumcision. Which leads you to wonder: are medical professionals looking at your son's loose circumcision and seeing dollar signs?
Common Questions Regarding Loose Circumcision
My son’s foreskin is "growing back", covering the head of the penis, stuck, adhered. Won't he have problems if it's not removed?
A naturally intact boy’s foreskin is fused to the head of the penis the same way your fingernail is fused to your finger. Sometimes after a circumcision, the remaining foreskin will adhere back on to the glans in an attempt to heal itself, causing what are called penile adhesions. This is very common. In this situation, we advise parents to just leave the foreskin alone and only clean the outside of it, the same way you would care for an intact boy. Some doctors may insist that the foreskin needs to be removed altogether or at the very least ripped back. This is a harmful act, causing severe pain to the child, bleeding, possible infection, and scarring. Do not allow doctors or other medical professionals to rip the foreskin remnant back if it has readhered. The adhesions will likely break down on their own over time, as they would with an intact child. If they don’t, less invasive procedures can aid the process along. In most cases, surgery is not needed.
But my son doesn’t look circumcised. Won’t he wonder why he doesn't look like daddy?
Neonatal circumcision techniques and results vary greatly because each patient is different, each doctor is different, and there are different circumcision methods utilized. So it’s already likely that no two circumcisions are ever going to look exactly alike. Your son is more likely to notice differences in size or body hair than the appearance of the penis. If he does ask, you can easily explain that there’s nothing wrong, just that dad had a surgery that resulted in his penis looking different from son’s.
What if other kids make fun of him for not looking circumcised?
Today, the circumcision rate in the United States is roughly 50/50. That means about half of your son’s classmates will be intact and about half of them will be circumcised, and among them all will have varying lengths of foreskin. Your son will not be the odd man out. If bullying is an issue, any incidents should be reported to school authorities so those doing the bullying can be dealt with accordingly. Surgery is not needed.
My doctor said the recircumcision needs to be done. If the doctor said so, he must need it. Right?
Not necessarily. Doctors are human; they do make mistakes. America doctors used to actually recommend cigarettes to their patients. Now it’s common knowledge that cigarettes make you sick and can kill you. Hindsight is always 20/20. That’s why we recommend getting second and third opinions before proceeding with an irreversible surgery. Here’s a list of doctors who may be able to help you.
I'm planning on getting my son circumcised. Should I request a loose circumcision?
The male foreskin is a highly specialized organ with a number of protective and sexual functions. It is literally the most sensitive part of the penis. Knowing this, there is no such thing as having too little foreskin removed, but there is most certainly such a thing as having too much removed. In other words, the more foreskin a child is left with, the better.
All circumcision surgeries include risk. Regardless of the amount of tissue removed, you might still be expected to encounter meatal stenosis, skin tags, skin bridges, excessive scarring, MRSA infections, even death as a complication of routine circumcision. For these reasons and others, many parents are choosing not to circumcise their infant sons noawadays. To learn more about circumcision, check out this article written by The WHOLE Network's founder about her own journey of discovery when she was pregnant with her first son. Then go to our website's library to continue your search.