Circumcision

by Rosemary Romberg

Circumcision involves the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis. Because the operation consists of the cutting off of a normal body structure, the term “amputation” aptly applies. The procedure dates back to prehistoric and Biblical times. It is probably the oldest type of surgery. The practice of circumcision developed independently in a number of different cultures throughout the world. Several explanations have been offered for the practice. In many primitive societies circumcision was a part of an adolescent initiation rite, and was a test of torture and pain in which young boys “became men.” In many cultures circumcision was a matter of personal sacrifice in a religious ritual. In a similar manner some primitive peoples practiced “finger sacrifice”. Later, explanations such as hygienic and cosmetic values were given to circumcision. In some cases conquering armies would perform circumcisions on their captives as an act of torture and humiliation. Many historians believe that in ancient times for some peoples “circumcision” consisted of a simple gashing of the foreskin, rather than a complete amputation as is done today.

With the exception of the Jewish culture/religion, and the 20th century medical practice in the United States, very few peoples have performed circumcisions on babies.

Presently in the United States, most males have been circumcised as newborns, usually before leaving the hospital after birth. The practice originated as a result of the anti-masturbation hysteria of the late 1800’s. People feared that if a boy had a foreskin and had to pull it back while cleaning his penis, he would learn to masturbate. At that time it was believed that masturbation led to insanity.

During the first few decades of the 20th century, the majority of births first began to take place in hospitals. At this time circumcision of newborn baby boys became a routine procedure. Frequently doctors circumcised babies without asking the parents.

Today very few people worry about masturbation (which circumcision does not prevent anyway), and almost always parents are asked to sign a permission slip for circumcision. Yet the practice persists. Often parents agree to circumcision knowing very little as to how or why the operation is done. Today increasing numbers of parents and medical professionals are questioning this procedure.

As expectant parents you must make the decision, in the event that your baby is a boy, as to whether or not you wish to have his foreskin cut off. Please give careful, serious consideration as to whether or not you wish to have this done. Circumcision is not a medical necessity. During the early 1970’s, the American Academy of Pediatrics conducted a detailed, intensive study of infant circumcision, and in 1975 concluded: “There is no absolute medical indication for routine circumcision of the newborn. It is not an essential component of adequate total health care.”

Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a statement that is somewhat more biased towards promoting infant circumcision. Every other medical organization in the rest of the world * has come out against routine circumcision (or has at least verified its non-necessity.) With their most recent statement the American Academy of Pediatrics has entirely ignored the matters of personal body ownership (since no baby can consent to circumcision), infant trauma, and the protective and sensual function of the foreskin. They have also trivialized the multitude of devastating injuries and deaths resulting from circumcision complications. (If a toy or other product were to cause as many injuries or deaths as has circumcision it would be quickly taken off the market.) The AAP has been sent numerous medical documentations of these and other matters, which they have apparently ignored. We suspect that medical arrogance because a grass roots movement opposing circumcision has been successfully influencing the public has skewed their stand (even though this movement includes countless doctors and other medical professionals). We also believe that financial incentives have held sway since there is much money to be made from circumcising babies. Parents or insurance companies pay for the operation. Infant foreskin tissue is then sold to pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies for use in various skin care products.

In the United States most hospitals with maternity departments have the medical equipment readily available to circumcise newborn baby boys. The operation can be done by an obstetrician, pediatrician, or family doctor. However, there are many doctors who do not believe that circumcision of newborns should be done and will not do the operation.

Parents who give birth at home or at birth centers, who leave the hospital very shortly after birth, or for other reasons wish to have their baby circumcised later can have the operation done at a doctor’s office or possibly in a hospital. Some birth centers are also set up to perform circumcisions. Some Jewish parents have their baby boys’ foreskins cut off at a “Bris” or “Brith”, which is a religious ceremony in which the operation is performed by a Mohel (a Jewish man, usually a Rabbi, who is trained to do religious circumcisions), and is done on the eighth day of the baby’s life.

The following information is intended to help you as a prospective or new parent make an intelligent decision about whether or not you wash to have this operation done to your baby boy:

Some parents decide not to have their baby boys’ foreskins amputated for the following reasons:

1. The operation is very painful and traumatic for the baby. As people are becoming concerned with such things as Dr. Leboyer’s ideas of non-violent birth techniques and consideration of the baby’s feelings, many people now believe that it is not right to operate on a very sensitive part of the baby’s body (especially without anesthetic.) Many doctors, parents, and other people have falsely believed that the newborn infant does not feel pain, and therefore the circumcision operation does not hurt him. This is absolutely untrue! A newborn baby is sensitive and aware and is as able to perceive pain as any other person at any other age.

Sometimes babies scream frantically while being circumcised. Usually people recognize this as meaning that the baby is in a great deal of pain. However, sometimes babies do not cry while being circumcised but instead lapse into a state of “semi-coma”. In cases such as this, the pain and trauma is so great that they cannot cry! The absence of crying in cases like this has led many parents doctors, and others to falsely believe that the operation did not hurt him. (The “semi-coma” state following neonatal circumcision has been documented in the following study: Emde, Robert N., et al; “Stress and Neonatal Sleep”, Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 33, No. 6, Nov.-Dec. 1971, p. 491-497.)

2. Some parents choose not to have their sons circumcised out of an essential faith in the concept that the human body is designed the way it is supposed to be and does not need to be made different with surgery. If boys were meant not to have foreskins, they would have been born without them.

3. Some parents choose against circumcision out of a conviction that parents do not have the right to alter their child’s body in a manner such as this. They recognize is that this is his body and only he should make the decision as to whether or not he should have his foreskin. This decision, of course, cannot be made until he is older.

While most circumcised males appear to be content with themselves the way they are, there are a substantial number of men and boys who do resent the fact that a part of their body was cut off, and that they had no choice about it.

4. In some families not being circumcised is a matter of “tradition.”  If the father or most of the other males in the family have not had their foreskins cut off, then circumcising the baby is simply not the thing to do.

5. Although few new parents are aware of this, there is evidence that there is greater sexual sensation in the male who still has his foreskin. The exposed glans (head of the penis) in the circumcised male apparently becomes toughened and desensitized. Additionally, there is evidence that the foreskin is an erogenous zone in itself, and that the foreskin affords greater pleasure in masturbation and sexual foreplay and greater ease in sexual penetration. Some historical records indicate that one of the original reasons for circumcision was for the purpose of lessening sexual satisfaction. because of the allegedly “sinful” nature of sex.

    Some Parent(s) Decide(s) to Have Their Baby Boys’ Foreskins Amputated for the Following Reasons:

1. Circumcision is an important cultural and religious tradition among Jewish people. Some devout Jewish people believe that this operation, usually performed on the eighth day of the baby’s life, is in keeping with an ancient Covenant with God.  Article on this website: Jewish Resources

There are, however, some Jewish people who do seriously question this aspect of their faith. Some Jewish parents have chosen not to have their baby boys circumcised. In some parts of the world Jewish people have performed the religious ceremony but have merely drawn a drop of blood from the foreskin, or cut off only the very tip of the foreskin, on the belief that the blood alone satisfies the Covenant.

2. Circumcision is also a cultural tradition for most Moslem peoples. (Interestingly, the Quran says nothing about circumcision)  Moslem boys are usually circumcised during childhood or adolescence rather than infancy.

3. Because in the United States during the 20th century most males have been circumcised as newborn babies, in many families foreskin amputation has become a “tradition” of sorts. Most or all of the males in the family have had their foreskins cut off, so circumcising the new baby seems to be “the thing to do.”

Beliefs about what is right in medical practice have changed drastically throughout the years. A few decades ago doctors tended to advocate cutting off various parts of the body for a number of reasons. Today there is a greater tendency for doctors to believe that the body should, if at all possible, be left the way nature made it. For example, during the earlier part of the 20th century, until the 1950’s and 60’s, most children had their tonsils removed because at that time the medical profession believed this was beneficial. Within recent years, studies have found that tonsils do serve a purpose. Doctors now tend to advise against tonsillectomy and most children still have their tonsils. Unlike tonsillectomy, however, circumcision affects the outward appearance and the sexuality of the individual. To some parents it still seems that the baby’s foreskin should be cut off even when they know there is no medical reason for the operation. Some fathers, perhaps due to lack of any other information on the subject, feel that their sons should be circumcised simply because they themselves lack foreskins.

If you as the baby’s father do not have a foreskin, and/or if you already have one or more sons who have been circumcised, you certainly do not have to subject your new baby boy to this operation just because his father and/or his brother(s) had it done. There are many families in which the father and son(s) “don’t match” or in which brothers “don’t match” because the parents have felt differently about circumcision following different births. This does not appear to cause any problems within the family.

4. Some parents have their infant sons’ foreskins cut off because “everybody else does it.” Because the majority of men and boys among the American middle class have been circumcised, some parents fear that their son will feel “different” from his peers if he has not had this operation. However, today there is a growing trend towards not circumcising.

During the 1950’s and 60’s approximately 90-98% of all baby boys born in the United States had their foreskins amputated at birth. By the early 80’s approximately 70-80% of all male infants born in U.S. hospitals undergo this operation. At the time of writing this update, the U.S. newborn circumcision rate is currently around 50-60%. The rate of circumcision varies considerably within different geographic areas and among different ethnic groups throughout the United States. Among parents who give birth at home and in birth centers, very few choose circumcision. Most people in other parts of the world today do not practice foreskin amputation. Throughout the world, approximately one out of seven males have been circumcised.

As the 21st century continues, the percentage of baby boys undergoing circumcision will undoubtedly become lower. Before long it should be 50-50, and then more American boys with foreskins than without. By the year 2100 or sooner, what was once an accepted medical procedure will likely have become a mere historical curiosity.

A boy born during the 1940’s, 50’s, or 60’s in the United States who was not circumcised was unusual. In some cases boys have later asked to be circumcised so that they could look like their peers. However, in other cases the intact boy has truly enjoyed his individuality.

Today and in the future an intact boy should have plenty of peers who are also not circumcised, as more parents and doctors are becoming concerned about the procedure and are choosing not to have it done. Most children are only mildly curious about the different “styles” of penises, and are more likely to express curiosity about what the opposite gender has or lacks.

5. Some parents choose to have the baby’s foreskin cut off because they have heard that it is important for cleanliness. While obviously one does not have to wash something that does not exist, to many people surgery seems a drastic alternative to personal hygiene.

The circumcised penis also certainly still needs to be washed regularly. If a male has not been circumcised, he does need to spend a few seconds retracting his foreskin when he bathes. (This is not necessary for the infant or small boy, but he should learn this as he grows older.) Therefore a small amount of extra attention to personal cleanliness is necessary if one is not circumcised, but washing the intact penis is certainly not something terribly difficult or complicated. Most parents readily accept the fact that they will need to teach their children about many aspects of cleanliness, such as brushing teeth or cleaning under fingernails.

The Bible and other historical resources say nothing about cutting off the foreskin being important for cleanliness. However, there has been speculation that in lands with hot climates and very little water, men and boys may have developed infections of the foreskin and thus preferred to cut it off.

In our society we have more running water and bathing facilities than in any other time or place throughout history. Therefore circumcision is not essential for cleanliness in modern living conditions.

Some people are concerned when they hear that smegma collects under the foreskin. Many people are surprised to learn that smegma is the same substance that collects on the genitals of women and girls and must be washed away regularly. New parents regularly deal with unpleasant body substances that result from caring for their baby. Parents change hundreds of dirty diapers and usually must take care of the baby’s spit-up or mucus in his nose when he gets a cold. In contrast to all this, most people would consider smegma an extremely minor concern. (Added note: Smegma is merely an accumulation of dead skin cells that are somewhat moistened since they collect in an enclosed space, similar to the way other body parts occasionally shed skin. When my own intact son was a baby and toddler I never saw anything there in need of cleaning. – R.)

One counter-argument against the “circumcision for cleanliness” idea is that people’s ears also require effort to keep clean, but nobody cuts off their ears or their child’s ears to keep them from having to wash them.

6. Some parents choose to have the baby circumcised because they have heard that presence of the foreskin can lead to cancer of the penis and cancer of the female uterine cervix. Some studies, most of which were conducted in the 1920’s and 30’s indicated that there may be a relationship. This accounted for much of the popularity of the operation during the following few decades. Just when the anti-masturbation arguments which developed before the turn of the century were becoming unpopular, the cancer arguments for circumcision took over.

Numerous studies in more recent years have indicated that many other factors are involved in both penile cancer and cancer of the cervix and that amputation of the foreskin is not justified as a cancer preventative.

Cancer of the penis is rare, occurs mainly in elderly men, is associated with extremely poor hygiene, and sometimes does occur in circumcised individuals. Statistics for the rates of this disease throughout the world reveal that the rates of penile cancer (approximately 1 case per 100,000 males) are as low or lower in most parts of Europe as they are in the United States. This is significant because the fact that most American men have been circumcised while most European men are intact. The possibility of a serious complication of circumcision is considerably higher than the likelihood of penile cancer.

Cancer of the cervix has been linked to a number of possible causes. Beginning sexual relations at an early age and having a number of sexual partners throughout one’s lifetime appear to be significant factors. However, studies have shown no differences in the rates of cervical cancer between American non-Jewish women who are married to circumcised husbands and those married to intact husbands.

The information that originally led people to believe that circumcision may be a preventative factor for penile and cervical cancer was the fact that the rates of both of these diseases are very low among Jewish and Moslem people, and of course nearly all Jewish and Moslem males are circumcised. More recent studies now suggest that this is related to lifestyle, heredity, and marital fidelity among these people.

7. Some parents have their sons circumcised as newborns because they have heard that the operation can be much more traumatic and difficult for him if he has to have it done later in life. This argument should be examined carefully because it is based on the idea that newborn babies have little or no feelings.

When a newborn baby has his foreskin amputated, the operation is almost always performed without anesthesia, so the baby feels the full impact of the operation. It is true, however, that the healing processes in a newborn baby are very rapid. Normally when a newborn recovers from circumcision, the healing and soreness lasts for about a week (A week is a long time, however, for someone who is only a few days old!) Also, since the baby’s penis is so tiny, stitches are not normally required.

When a boy or a man has his foreskin cut off, he is given the consideration of anesthesia for the procedure. Also, at this age he is able to understand what is being done to his body. However, stitches are required and it takes several weeks for it to heal. The trauma that a boy or man experiences following circumcision is probably similar to the discomfort and pain that a woman experiences with an episiotomy (Cutting of the skin at the opening of a woman’s vagina while giving birth.).

If the baby is not circumcised as a newborn, it is not highly likely that he will have to have it done later for a medical reason. A problem such as a tight or infected foreskin does not necessarily have to be corrected by circumcision. Undoubtedly some doctors recommend circumcision for conditions that could be corrected by less drastic measures.

If a boy or man decides to he circumcised because he would just rather be that way then it is his own body and he has made that decision for himself. The decision can be compared to choosing to pierce one’s ears or any other body part or making a personal decision to surgically alter the appearance of any part of one’s own body.

    If  You Choose to Have Your Baby Boy Circumcised, Some Things to Know:

In most hospitals vitamin K shots are given routinely to baby boys who are to have their foreskins amputated. This is to help their blood clot satisfactorily. In some hospitals vitamin K shots are given to all newborns in case of other bleeding problems. If circumcision is done after the first week, the baby will have established a clotting factor from his own system and vitamin K will not be necessary. This may be the basis behind the ancient Jewish tradition of delaying circumcision until the eighth day of life.

In some hospitals baby boys are circumcised immediately after birth in the delivery room. What a horrible introduction to life in this world! If you believe that circumcision must be done, at least wait a few days and allow the baby to adjust to life outside the womb. Many medical authorities advise against immediate circumcision because the baby may lose body temperature or have undetected medical problems. There has been a trend away from immediate circumcision in recent years. Be sure to find out your doctor’s and hospital’s policy on this matter.

During prenatal care, your doctor or birth attendant should ask you whether or not you want the baby circumcised and should indicate this on your records. Usually hospitals and other birthing establishments have a permission slip that at least one parent must sign before the baby’s foreskin is cut off. In some hospitals, consent for circumcision is written into the hospital admission form. Be sure that you first read whatever you are signing. Unlike many hospital procedures, the choice about circumcision is definitely yours.

    The Procedure for Cutting off the Foreskin of a Newborn Baby Takes Place as Follows:

Usually the baby is placed on a circumcision “board”. This is a plastic tray that is molded to fit the shape of an infant’s body. He lies on his back and his arms and legs are strapped down to the tray. The baby’s body is then covered with paper drapes with a small hole where his penis sticks out

A few doctors prefer to have a nurse or parent hold the baby for the operation in the hopes that this will make the baby feel more secure and help to lessen the trauma. (However, it is doubtful that this makes any difference to the baby.)

    The Following are Three Common Procedures for Circumcising a Newborn:

1. Gomco Clamp: (Manufactured by Gomco Medical Supplies, Buffalo, N.Y.) The end of the foreskin is first crushed with a hemostat and then snipped to enlarge it. The doctor (or other operator) then takes a small instrument and goes inside to free the foreskin from the head of the penis. A small metal “bell” is then placed over the head of the penis and under the foreskin. After that a metal clamp is then placed over the foreskin and left in place for 5 minutes. Then the foreskin is cut off and the clamp removed. The area that is cut will be red and sore for several days before it heals. Applying petroleum jelly or a similar ointment keeps it from sticking to the diaper and helps keep urine off of it. (Pictures of the Gomco clamp in use are shown at the end of this article.)

2. Plasti-bell:(Manufactured by Hollister Corp., Chicago, IL.)

Plasti-bell

The Plasti-bell

The procedure begins in the same manner as described for the Gomco Camp. A small plastic “bell” is inserted over the head of the penis and under the foreskin. A string is then tied tightly over the foreskin and the bell. Then some of the foreskin in front of the string is trimmed away. The handle of the bell is then removed and the ring of plastic remains in place around the end of the penis. The remaining foreskin atrophies (dries up) within approximately one week and the plastic ring will then fall off. This procedure seems to be more uncomfortable for the baby. The advantage of this method is that the possibility of hemorrhage (bleeding problems) is less likely. However, the chance of infection is greater with the Plasti-bell.

3. Sheldon Clamp:(Manufactured by Olympic Medical Supplies, Seattle, WA.)

The Sheldon Clamp

This is a clamp type device with which the infant’s foreskin is pulled up over the glans, smashed together, and cut off. No protective “bell” is used to cover the glans. (*This device was taken off the market during the 1980’s [after the initial writings of this information sheet.] )

If you are undecided as to whether or not you wish to have your baby’s foreskin cut off, a good idea is to arrange to see this operation being performed on another baby. If that is not possible, look at pictures or a video of the operation being done. Very few parents have ever seen the operation being done. Many parents who have had their babies circumcised have later regretted it and wished that they could have known in advance what the procedure involved.

If your baby is to have his foreskin cut off while you are both in the hospital, try to be allowed to be with him during the procedure, or at least arrange to have him brought to you immediately afterwards so you can nurse and comfort him right away. If it is to be done in a doctor’s office, at a Bris, or any other place outside the hospital, be there so that you can nurse and comfort him immediately. Check with your doctor in advance about this. Some doctors feel that this is an operation that parents should not see. However, most parents prefer to remain with, or at least near their children during traumatic medical procedures. Parents should voice their right not to be separated from their children during such procedures. Even for a newborn it may help to lessen the trauma if the child can see his parent. For the parents it is a very devastating experience to be forced to sit outside and listen to one’s child scream!

After the baby has had his foreskin cut off, keep his diapers loosely wrapped around him, not tightly pinned or taped, for the first couple of days. Change his diaper as frequently as possible, expose his penis to the air if possible, and don’t place him on his tummy for a few days.

Hemorrhage and infection are occasional complications of circumcision. If either of these conditions occur, notify the baby’s doctor immediately. After the operation there should be no bleeding from the cut area. Pus and/or fever would be signs of infection.

A very common complication of circumcision is called meatal ulceration. The exposed glans, without foreskin to protect it, develops painful sores and blisters due to urine burn. If your baby is circumcised be especially careful to change his diaper frequently. Disposable diapers or diaper liners help to protect the baby from urine contact. There are a number of different ointments that can be used if the baby does develop meatal ulceration .

    If  You Choose Not to Have your Baby Circumcised, Some Important Things to Know:

During prenatal care, be sure that your birth attendant knows that you do not want your baby boy circumcised, especially if you are planning a hospital birth. When you enter the hospital, make sure you read carefully any paper that you are asked to sign. There have been cases in which parents not wishing circumcision have inadvertently signed permission papers. There have also been cases in which babies have been circumcised when parents have not given permission. Unauthorized circumcision is grounds for a lawsuit.

The foreskin of a newborn is almost always stuck to the head of the penis, and the opening at the end is usually a tiny pinhole. This is normal. You should not attempt to retract it during early infancy. By the time child is 3 or 4 years old it is almost always fully retractable

When a baby has his foreskin cut off, the first step of the procedure is when the foreskin is forcefully pulled away from the head of the penis. This literally involves tearing one layer of skin away from another. The freshly exposed skin on the infant’s glans is like raw skin beneath a blister. This tearing appears to hurt the baby at least as much as the actual clamping and cutting. Some health care providers instruct parents to forcefully pull back the baby’s foreskin every day from birth on. This will ultimately hurt the baby more than being circumcised since the circumcision operation happens only once. Other medical professionals who are more knowledgeable about this are instructing parents to leave their son’s foreskin entirely alone during infancy and early childhood.

Some parents choose not to have their baby circumcised in order to spare him the trauma, only to have the baby’s health care provider forcefully pull back the foreskin, either in the hospital or during one of the baby’s office visits. (You don’t sign a consent form for this!) In the United States doctors are given little if any information in medical school about the correct care of the intact baby’s penis. Many doctors know very little about it. Probably most of their patients have been circumcised. In some cases parents must take the responsibility of tactfully educating their doctor about this. Find out your doctor’s practice about retracting the infant’s foreskin (if possible, before you give birth). In some cases you may have to specifically instruct the doctor not to retract your baby’s foreskin.  Damaging instances of forcible foreskin retraction have also happened with a baby sitter or day care provider. Parents of intact sons may have to give similar “hands off” instructions to anyone caring for their babies.

In addition to being traumatic for the baby, forcefully retracting the foreskin is what causes the problems that parents are sometimes warned about if they don’t have the baby circumcised. When the foreskin is forcefully retracted this breaks the adhesions where the foreskin was still joined with the head of the penis. This usually causes it to bleed some. When the foreskin is replaced, these adhesions will heal back together and can cause the foreskin to become stuck to the head of the penis to an even greater degree. Continually doing this can lead to acquired phimosis, in which scar tissue develops and the foreskin becomes tightly attached to the head of the penis and cannot be pulled back. In order to correct this, the young boy may have to either be circumcised or undergo a series of uncomfortable loosening procedures.

If you leave the baby’s foreskin alone and do not try to retract it during the early months, or even during the first few years of his life, it will slowly loosen and become retractable of its own accord, usually by the time the child is 3-4 years old. Evidently it does not pose any problem with collecting smegma or becoming infected during the early months of the baby’s life as long as it is left alone.

My husband and I had our three older sons circumcised as infants. When Eric and Jason were born in hospitals, in 1972 and 1974, I gave the matter very little concern. After Ryan was born at home in 1977, we took him to a doctor’s office when he was one week old to have his foreskin cut off. This time I had very strong feelings about not wanting to have it done. However, I had no information available with which to make an intelligent decision. (And I was a childbirth instructor!!)

One factor in our decision to circumcise is that my husband’s family background is Jewish. (However, I am not Jewish. We do not actively practice the Jewish faith, and we did not have the Bris ceremony for circumcision.) At the time when our sons were born we knew very little about circumcision, and the little that we did know suggested that it was a good idea.

After our third son’s birth I did a great deal of research about this subject and wrote the book Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma. (© 1985, Bergin & Garvey, S. Hadley, MA.), as well as several other articles on this and other childbirth related subjects.

Our fourth son, Kevin, born in 1985, has been left intact.

© August 1981; Revised – June 1983 (Revised – 2012, Edited 2013)

Strapped

1. Baby strapped to the Circumstraint being circumcised.
Reprinted with permission from The Saturday Evening Post © 1981.

Slit

2. The dorsal slit has been made in the tip of the baby’s foreskin.
© Suzanne Arms

Metal bell

3. The baby’s foreskin has been retracted and his glans is exposed.
© Suzanne Arms

Clamp

4. The metal “bell” has been inserted
under the baby’s foreskin and over his glans.
© Suzanne Arms

Clamp

5. The Gomco clamp has been applied.  The baby’s penis is put through a small hole.  Then the device is clamped down tightly over the outside of his foreskin so that it is smashed against the metal “bell” inside.  This is done to seal off the blood vessels to hopefully prevent excessive bleeding.  Normally the clamp is left in place for about five minutes. © Suzanne Arms

slice

6. The baby’s foreskin is being sliced off with a scalpel.
© Suzanne Arms

Exposed

7. This is the freshly circumcised infant penis.
The newly exposed glans is bright red.
© Suzanne Arms


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