Thursday, May 19, 2011

Circumcision Botches and the Elephant in the Room

So a recent news report from Richmond, VA finally highlights the fact that circumcisions can and do result in botches that have to be corrected later on.

The report sounds promising, giving the impression that doctors and parents are finally pondering the validity of putting children at risk for permanently mangled organs over an elective, medically unnecessary, cosmetic procedure.


Basically, the conclusion is that staff needs to be better trained, and everyone completely ignores the best way to eliminate the possibility of a botched circumcision; leaving the poor child's genitals alone.

I've gone through and taken the report and inserted my own critique in parentheses. It's simply infuriating the way everyone pretends to be so utterly stupid and without a clue.

CBS 6 - richmond, VA,0,4411553.story

CBS 6 INVESTIGATION: Circumcision Errors all too common in Central Virginia
Tracy Sears
10:15 a.m. EDT, May 18, 2011

RICHMOND,VA (WTVR) - For some it's a cosmetic or health decision. For others, it's a religious covenant.

(And religion is relevant in medicine because???)

Regardless of the reason, a majority of baby boys born in the Greater Richmond Area today are being circumcised.

(Circumcision is SURGERY. It's CUTTING PART OF A CHILD'S PENIS OFF. The reason is DAMN WELL RELEVANT. But let's not dwell on it EVER.)

While circumcision is one of the most common procedures performed, a number of things can and do go wrong.

(Let's not talk about the fact that circumcision is elective, non-medical cosmetic surgery in a healthy, non-consenting newborn.)

Traci Stevens knew she didn't want her second baby to go through what her first son did. Stevens says, "My husband said over and over, 'Something's wrong.'"

(That first sentence is misleading. You think the woman grew a brain and decided her second son shouldn't be put through a needless risk. The plot thickens...)

Pediatric urologist Dr. Boyd Winslow confirmed what the Stevens feared, their first son's circumcision had been done wrong in the hospital and needed to be repeated. To spare their second born, Jonah, the same heartache, the Stevens took him directly to Dr. Winslow a month after he was born.

(WAIT, to "spare" their second born, they put him through the EXACT SAME RISKS??? Am I MISSING something here???)

Stevens says, "Jonah didn’t cry one bit when it was done, so I was very happy with that."

(Notice the wording; the child didn't cry. SHE was happy with that. I wonder how she would feel if she was the one undergoing the knife...)

Dr. Winslow says the Stevens aren’t alone; circumcision errors are becoming all too common.

Dr. Winslow says, "Babies crying and bleeding and I'm like, 'Come on, this is not humane.'"

(What, the bleeding and the crying? Or the fact that they're undergoing NEEDLESS SURGERY???)

Over the past three years, Winslow's practice has performed more than 1,600 repeat circumcisions. Some are minor fixes, others are major ones.

(Sounds like there's a market for repeat circumcision... It's not as "rare" as people would like to think...)

Dr. Winslow says, "The ones that have more serious problems can have so much skin removed that the penis becomes constrained and scarred or either bent and distorted."

(When was the "appropriate" amount of skin to be removed determined? What is there like a dotted line or something? FACT: The foreskin is normal, healthy tissue. The circumcised penis IS constrained, scared and distorted.)

So why is this happening?

(It should be obvious; children are being left with mangled penises ever a needless procedure. Do you really have to ask?)

"A lot of circumcisions are done on a newborn in a hurry," says Dr. Winslow.

(That's right, perhaps female circumcision wouldn't be so bad if the cutters weren't so hasty...)

Obstetricians have been doing circumcisions for years. One because they're experienced surgeons, and two, because they're in the hospitals with the new mothers.

(AKA, they get first dibs.)

Susan Lanni, The Medical Director for Labor and Delivery at VCU Medical Center says, "It’s really not our specialty, but by default it falls in our lap." She says with any medical procedure, there are complications, but says the majority of procedures are done correctly.

(Most medical procedures require a distinct medical REASON.)

Dr. Lanni goes on to say, "As a parent, I would want the person who has done the most procedures and felt the most comfortable with the procedure to be doing it and quite honestly nowadays, that’s the obstetrician."

(Shouldn't there be a MEDICAL REASON first? At its convention in Washington DC last week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) refused Intact America permission to place a stall among those offering medical products, etc, because circumcision is "beyond the scope of the practice of obstetrics and gynecology." How is it people can't lobby against them because it's outside their competence, and yet claim the right to do it?

Dr. Winslow doesn't dispute obstetricians should be the ones doing the circumcisions.

(Well he SHOULD. Obstetricians are specialists in women and childbirth. They have no particular competence at male genital surgery. Male infant circumcision is not even in their field of work.)

After all, there are roughly 4,500 baby boys born in Greater Richmond each year and statistics show 80-90% of them are circumcised, yet Winslow's Pediatric Urology practice is just one of two in town. He says, "We couldn't take on all those, we wouldn't dare offer that."

(Notice how encouraging parents and doctors to NOT be needlessly putting babies at risk by circumcising them isn't even talked about...)

But what Winslow is offering is his expertise. A year ago, he began doing presentations for local doctors to help them recognize problematic conditions and to perform the procedure as safely and painlessly as possible.

(Since they are not medically indicated, WHY PERFORM THEM AT ALL??? Is NOT circumcising part of Winslow's presentations? At 3:00 Dr Winslow shows a slide saying "Now the fun is over..." FUN? Does he know how close to the wind he is sailing, when there are are group of men who call themselves "circumsexuals" who take erotic pleasure from the idea of circumcising and being circumcised? They have websites and hold conventions. Better not to think about the fun they have at them.)

While the American Medical Association has set up guidelines for doctors to follow, the procedure is often left up to an individual physician’s discretion, and some don’t even use a local anesthetic.

(As if pain were even part of the issue...)

Dr. Winslow says there are ways doctors can improve the procedure and that has become his mission and says, "I've got my talk ready to give any place that wants to hear it."

(Shouldn't the first option, since it is not medically necessary, to try and convince doctors and parents NOT TO DO THIS AT ALL???)

Traci Stevens is thankful her little guy has a good start in life...

("Good start?" So baby boys are born defective straight out of the womb? The only two counties where the majority of baby boys are circumcised are Israel and the United States; even in Muslim countries it is mostly performed on older children. So children in the rest of the world are all off to "bad starts?" What self-serving, self-deluding, ad-hoc rubbish.)

...and Dr. Winslow says all babies deserve the same respect.

(The "respect" babies deserve is the right to their whole bodies.)

Dr. Winslow says, "Later on, little boys I can tell you, their penis becomes their best buddy and it means a lot to them."

(Yes. Have you ever wondered how they might feel about being circumcised? What if it meant a lot to them that some doctor never messed with their "best buddy" in the first place?

This statement is almost sick to think about. He can "tell us?" How can he "tell us" this? What does he CARE about a child's relationship to his penis, and why does he feel others are entitled to intervene?

Why can't we leave children's genitals alone???)

Some of the warning signs of a troubled circumcision include adhesions and scarring.

(Trouble that is needless and easily avoided by NOT circumcising...)

Doctor Winslow says the best time to circumcise a baby boy is in the first four weeks of life.

(The best time to circumcise a healthy, non-consenting individual is NEVER.)

However, if you're unsure whether circumcision is right for your child, consult your doctor first.

(The elephant in the room - not circumcising would eliminate any risk of a botch.)

And remember; these are the stats for just ONE CITY. How's the rest of America doing?

Bottom line, always the bottom line.
The foreskin is not a birth defect. Nor is it a congenital deformity or a genetic anomaly akin to a 6th finger or a cleft. The foreskin is normal, healthy tissue found in all males at birth.

Circumcision in healthy boys is the destruction of normal, healthy tissue. It permanently alters the appearance and mechanics of the penis, and it puts a child at risk of infection, disfigurment, complete ablation and even death.

Thanks to research and modern medicine, we now have better, more effective, less-invasive ways to prevent disease, so that circumcision is not needed anymore (actually, it was never needed).

Unless there is a medical or clinical indication, the circumcision of healthy, non-consenting individuals is by very definition infant genital mutilation. Doctors have no business performing it in healthy, non-consenting individuals, much less giving his parents any kind of "choice."

Doctors like Winslow are nothing less than charlatans justifying their trade.

"It's hard to get a man to understand something, when his livelihood depends on his not understanding."~Upton Sinclair


  1. My intact partner has scrotal hair at the base of his penis, riding up the shaft a bit. It does nor affect the function of his penis.

    1. The skin on the intact penis is mobile. Hair riding up the base of his penis would slide back along with the skin. In contrast, depending on how much skin was removed on a circumcised penis, the skin is NOT mobile, so the hair stays on the shaft, if not rides up higher during erection. From accounts that I've read, some men have to shave because it affects their female partner who is sensitive down there. There are some very sad pictures on the internet of circumcisions so tight the hair rides halfway up the shaft. So sad to see...