Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Circumcision- my views after my son's procedure

This is not a debate post, I decided to do this post to explain my experience and what I have learnt from it personally, I am not saying do it or don't do it that is your choice to make and your child this is just from my point of view.


When Loghan was 4 we ended up taking him to see the GP as he was displaying issues down below his foreskin was tight and displaying redness, he was having issues going to the loo etc, after the doctor checked he advised that we needed to see a specialist asap which we did, the specialist said that he would need to be medically circumcised in order to alleviate the issues and avoid permanent damage…

Personally I have never wanted to circumcise my boys I’ve always felt they were born that way and it is best left alone but in this case it was medically required so we had to brush our personal feelings aside and give our consent.

We were told that is was a very quick and easy routine op and that Loghan would hardly have any pain at all, we were told he would go home from hospital that day or the day after and that after a few days he would be up and fine as normal….this made us sigh with relief, we knew there would be pain we weren’t ignorant of this but the doctor said it would be minimal and after all the responses from pro circumcision moms it did seem like a pretty strait forward and relatively painless procedure…

We arrived at the hospital everything went fine, I was with Loghan as they put him to sleep this was very traumatic for me as he fought the gas tooth and nail and kept asking me why he had to have this done even though we took the time to explain everything.

No sooner had my ex and I stepped away before we were called back by the doctor and told that his procedure would not be as simple as previously hoped in short he had to have a bit of plastic surgery as well due to his premature birth his urethra was incorrectly placed this was not picked up at birth but could be seen when they pulled back to begin the procedure, he needed the circumcision but if we did the one and not the other he would need to pee sitting down for the rest of his life, we of course did not want to put our son through that and we were assured the pain and healing time would be no worse than originally explained…
The procedure went well according to the doctors and Loghan woke up reasonably fine, however a half an hour later he was screaming in pain literally screaming and they couldn’t give him anything else till 2 hours later… he calmed down for a bit but little did we know it was the start of 2 weeks of literal hell for us and Loghan….

In short we were in and out of hospital for the majority of 2 weeks or  so, Loghan was in so much pain even with the meds that he refused to pee and we ended up having to keep the catheter in at home which only made things worse and we literally had to teach him how to pee again, at the end of the 2 weeks not only was Loghan terribly traumatised but so were we, this child would literally not go near a doctor for months and had nightmares for months as well, he also developed quite a complex about the whole procedure and why he had to have it done…

Would I ever circumcise my other 2 the answer is hell no I will not and I know Loghan’s surgery was not as cut and dry as most are but my point is that this procedure hurts and if you think it doesn’t you are fooling yourself, I understand that some cultural beliefs dictate that it needs to be done and sometimes it needs to be medically done, but personally I do not think this is a procedure that should be encouraged if not needed now I know some smart alecs are going well then caesers should not be allowed by choice either… the difference is a caeser is a choice relating to the woman’s body this is a decision made on behalf of your child’s body, not unlike piercing of your child’s ears which I am not a fan of without their consent either.
Medically there is no proof saying it is the better option, if you teach your child to clean properly down there then cleanliness will not be an issue- it does not prevent hiv and stds, it does however mean that these viruses have a less convenient means of incubating within a warm closed environment.

If I could turn back the clock no I would not have revoked my consent given that Loghan did need this procedure however I would have appreciated more honesty from the doctors side and more empathy from the nurses as the one nurse was absolutely horrid and should never have been placed on the paeds ward, she was rude and yelled at both us and Loghan when he became distressed as they were pulling the plaster away from that area without anything to take the stickiness away….

In any case my personal experience and opinion is that it is painful if you make the choice to do this don’t fool yourself into thinking it isn’t, whether your child is a newborn or an older child, they can feel the only difference is that an older child is better able to vocalise and explain their pain while a baby can only cry, at the end of the day I would say do your research speak to moms who have seen both the good and the bad and who have gone through this with younger and older children with and without complications and if you decided to do it then at least you go in prepared for any outcome.

Below I have put together just a short list of pros and cons:

What are the pros?
Some of the reasons you may want to circumcise are:
  • Protects against urinary tract infections (UTIs) during the first year of life. However, UTIs are rare and easily treated.
  • Prevents infections under the foreskin. It also prevents persistent tight foreskin. Both of these problems are rare and are usually due to pulling back the foreskin too often or too hard.
  • Decreases the risk of getting some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) later in life, including HIV. However, it does not completely prevent any STD.
  • Lowers the risk of cancer of the penis. However, good hygiene offers equal protection against this very rare cancer.
  • Keeps your son's appearance "like other boys" or "like his dad." Boys may not mind looking different from other men in their family. However, they do mind being harassed in the locker room or shower about their foreskin. This could happen if most of their buddies are circumcised.
What are the cons?
Some of the reasons not to circumcise include:
  • Problems with surgery. Problems that may occur are skin or bloodstream infections, bleeding, gangrene, scarring, and various surgical accidents. One study showed that 1 of every 500 circumcised newborns suffered a serious side effect.
  • Pain. The procedure causes pain. However, the doctor can use some anesthetic around the area to block some of the pain.
  • Cost. You may have to pay for the surgery yourself because many insurance companies do not cover the cost.
  • You must decide quickly. If you initially decide not to have your son circumcised, and then change your mind after your son is 2 months old, the procedure will require a general anesthesia. So try to make your final decision during the first month of life.

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