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Child Circumcision Discussion by Dr Paul Cowie

Posted Jul 3 At | Share on Facebook

Infant Circumcision


At the Redgum Clinic we like to believe we perform circumcision as a fine art.

For us, the days of strapping the baby down on a board, sending the parents off to hide, guilt ridden, in a sound proof room have gone many decades ago. The doctor rushing the operation to reduce the crying is a thing of the past .

Why should babies not have good anaethesia the same as you would as an adult?  It is not hard to do and it is very rare for it to cause any problems.

Does pain cause a new born any long term harm?  We simply don't know.


If you are going to use local anaethesia for circumsicion then there is no need to get it done early. 

Some parents prefer circumcision to be carried out before 2 weeks of age for religious or cultural reasons and we are very happy to comply and we don't have any problems with this.

There are some minor advantages from our point of view for delaying circumsion to about 3 months. I will list these below.

1.  The internal foreskin is less "stuck on" to the glans (head of the penis) and there is less risk of bleeding when it is peeled apart at the time of circumcision.

2. The local anaethetic cream (elma cream ) is quite safe to use at this age and older. This reduces the pain of the anaesthetic needle.

3. The baby boy has grown a bit and the operation is a little easier because of this.

4. Babies seem more distractable at this age and can be entertained by their parents while they lie on the couch for the few minutes during the operation.


Debate on circumcision is like talking politics or football.

It brings out strong opinions.

Why is this?  It is because we all form opinions due to our own life experience.

If you are a nurse who has witnessed circumcision carried out without local anaethetic then you may question why we are submitting babies to a painful operation that they may never need.

If you are an adult male who has put up with a troublesome inflamed foreskin that will eventually need to come off you may believe that all boys should have been circumsised at birth.

From our point of view,  most boys will never medically need circumcision but some will. Is it worth doing all 10 for the one that will need it? Who knows? But all circumcised boys will benefit from the ease of hygiene and convenience of circumcision.

In Australia 50 years ago almost all boys were circumcised at birth.  Because of this we didn't see the problems that can occur in the uncircumcised males.  The medical profession began to question why we are bothering to do circumcision.  And so we basicly stopped doing them.  Now we are seeing adult men come in with problems.  So once again, we are beginning to  understand the benefits of infant circumcision.

So the debate goes on.