September 13th, 2016
Circumcision is a micro-invasive procedure that is being practiced from decades and numerous research studies have proved how beneficial it is for male health. However, there are still some speculations and concerns regarding the adverse effects or complications of this procedure. In other words, some people support it while others are against it and find it painful and unnecessary. Due to its beneficial effects, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to get male infants circumcised as early as possible. Following are five facts related to circumcision which you must know.
Did you know that in late 1800, circumcision was considered a cure for a number of illnesses including paralysis, poisoning with brass and fever in children?
Lewis Sayre is a professor at Bellevue Hospital Medical College. In one of his case-studies, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Transactions of the American Medical Association, Prof. Sayre reported the case of a 5 year old boy who presented with the complaint of lower body paralysis. Upon his initial examination, it was found that the foreskin of child seem contracted. Sayre hypothesized that the foreskin issues are causing the disability and decided to circumcise the kid. After 2 weeks of this procedure the kid was able to walk again, with no residual disability.
World’s first circumcision was performed in the 2400 B.C. in Egypt. At that time it was indicated when a boy reaches the adulthood instead of during infancy. In other words, circumcision was used as a sign of adulthood in young boys.
In hospitals this procedure was encouraged for cleanliness and health purposes, but circumcision rate increased in the late 1900s because it was marked as a status symbol! It was assumed that rich and good families go to hospitals for their child birth and get their infants circumcised. Therefore, it became a class mark – a social thing to do because that is what “classy” parents would do and if people won’t get their kid circumcised they were considered “less civilized”
Foreskin is way more complex than most people usually think. The inner side of foreskin contains mucous membrane making it moist and more susceptible to sexually transmitted infections. Moreover, it possess a certain type of immune cell (known as Langerhans cells) that are highly vulnerable to HIV. Therefore, men who are not circumcised are more likely to develop sexually transmitted infections when compared to the control group.
In United States, circumcision is performed in three ways (via three different devices). One is with Mogen clamp; a type of scissor with flat blades on both sides. The clamp is fixed over the foreskin, cutting the flow of blood and then clipping the tip of foreskin via scalpels. Another device used is Gomco clamp; the procedure is almost the same as that of Mogen clamp but it leaves a scar on the penis head which is light brown in color. The third way is using plastibell, it is a device made up of plastic placed beneath the foreskin and a string is tied around the foreskin. The device is left for a week or more, the foreskin will become dead and falls off on its own.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the efficacy or benefits of this procedure; speak to your doctor to learn more about circumcision method and long term outcomes.
1. American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force on Circumcision. (2012). Pediatrics, 130(3), e756.
2. Freedman, A. L. (2016). The circumcision debate: Beyond benefits and risks. Pediatrics, e20160594.
3. Jansen, M. (2016). Routine circumcisions of infant boys: It’s time to make progress through the common ground. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 52(5), 477-479.
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