After the Surgery1
PARENTS SHOULD FREQUENTLY CHECK FOR EXCESSIVE BLEEDING. Do not use super-absorbent disposable diapers; they can easily absorb and hide enough blood to cause your son to need a transfusion or bleed to death. Use cloth diapers until the wound heals. Follow the wound-care instructions your physician gives you. Check for soreness and redness, which might be an infection.
- Babies often go through a nursing strike by sleeping for hours afterward as a way of recovering from the surgery. During this time it is difficult for the baby to establish a nursing relation with the mother.
- Short-term complications vary, but include excessive bleeding and infections including the “Super-Bug,” MRSA, to which circumcised boys are known to be susceptible.2
- Postoperative pain continues for a week or two until his wound heals. Pain is most severe during urination and defecation, bandage and diaper changes, and while breastfeeding, if he is pressed against the mother.
- Long-term consequences include a slight increased likelihood of substance abuse,3 elaborate sexual practices,4 alexithymia (difficulty identifying and describing feelings),5 and acting out impulsively, a precursor to acting violently.6 Circumcised men are 4 to 5 times as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED).
- Death is a possible outcome. Every year more than 100 American babies die as a result of their circumcision.7
This information has been reviewed by our panel of experts and other trusted advisors, however, it is not a substitute for professional medical, legal, or spiritual advice.
- HealthWise Medical Reference, Available online at: http://children.webmd.com/tc/circumcision-what-to-expect-after-surgery Last updated: January 29, 2010. ↩
- Bratu S, Eramo A, Kopec R, Coughlin E, Ghitan M, Yost R, et al. Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in hospital nursery and maternity units. Emerg Infect Dis. 2005,11(6): ↩
- Richards MPM, Bernal JF, Brackbill Y. Early behavioral differences: gender or circumcision? Dev Psychobiol, 1976;9(1):89–95. ↩
- Laumann EO, Masi CM, Zuckerman EW. Circumcision in the United States. JAMA. 1997;277:1052-7. ↩
- Bollinger D, Van Howe RS. Alexithymia and Circumcision Trauma: A Preliminary Investigation. 2010 (in review). ↩
- Tremblay RO, Vitaro F, Dobkin PL. Predicting early onset of male antisocial behavior from preschool behavior. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 1994:51(9):732–739. ↩
- Bollinger D. Lost boys: An estimate of US circumcision-related infant deaths. Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies, 2010;4(1):78-90. ↩