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Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Message Board

Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Board Index

I did not have my son circumsised and the instructions with were to pull it back to clean it but not to force it. The foreskin is actually fused to the head of the penis and it stays fused for longer in some children. From what I read, if the foreskin does not pull back it usually isn't anything to worry about. Most children's foreskin will pull back by the time they are about five.

My son's still would not pull back in the least at the age of 6 so at a doctors visit I mentioned it. He was sent to a pediatrician who prescribed a topical cream which un-fused about half of it. We then went to the urologist who said to give it a year and if nothing happened he would have to "fix it".

A year later there was no change so at the age of 8 we took him to the hospital where the doctor put on a topical anesthetic then while pulling the foreskin back, scraped (for lack of a better word) under it breaking the fuse. The actual procedure only took a few minutes and caused my son no initial pain. The doctor instructed us that we needed to pull the foreskin back and put vaseline on the head of the penis twice a day for two weeks to prevent it from re-fusing. My son was quite uncomfortable the next day so we kept him home from school and he was a tender for a couple of days after that but it was fine after that.

I don't have any experience with circumsision but I know that if a newborns foreskin is fused the doctors must un-fuse it before they can circumsise so I guess if they don't cut the foreskin all the way back it is possible that the foreskin that is left re-fuses to the head of the penis.
[QUOTE=hollejeff]My grandson was circumsized at birth, he is now 57 days old..the problem is some of the skin has attached itself to one side of the (roll) of the penis..just barely on the curve of the head....How common is this? and how do they unattach it?[/QUOTE]
This is a quite common complication from circumcision, though it doesn't seem to show up in statistics. When a baby boy is born in 99% of cases the foreskin is fused to the glans as firmly as a fingernail to a finger. The circumciser has to use forceps (tweezers) to tear the foreskin away from the glans before the actual cutting can start. In the USA the entire procedure is usually done without anaesthetic despite most doctors organisations now recommending anaesthesia. The glans is left raw after the operation and it is quite common for the cut edges of the remaining foreskin to fuse to it during the healing process, forming skin bridges or skin tags. Doctors and hospitals seem to want parents to think that the circumcised penis is maintenance free, so they don't warn about this risk during the healing process. If the condition is left till the boy grows up then surgery is the only way to fix it and this will leave scarring on the glans. Untreated it will affect the normal function of the penis.
It is very hard to judge how much skin the adult penis will require when performing infant circumcision. If too much is removed the adult may experience painful erections and have hairy scrotum skin pulled up onto the shaft. Tight circumcisions also don't leave any loose skin for masturbation and lube becomes essential. Of course nothing will stop masturbation.
If the baby is left intact then no attempt should be made to retract the foreskin for the first year or two. Misguided attempts to do this by parents and even some medical staff can cause pain and tearing. This can result in similar adhesions to those from circumcision and is the main reason for circumcisions of young boys whose parents wanted them left intact. If left alone the boy himself will usually pull on the foreskin and this is a good thing breaking down the natural attachments. Foreskins separate at differing ages and it is common for boys of five to not be able to retract yet. Since there is no cavity until the attachments have broken down then until then there is nowhere for germs to collect and no need to wash under the foreskin. If it is still a problem later on then stretching can usually cure it. See my stretching instructions at the top of the Mens' Health board for more information on this.
I hope this explains things and is some help,

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