Circumcision w/ epidural & anesthesia?

User - posted on 06/16/2011 ( 52 moms have responded )

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My son was born 6 weeks early and they didn't do the circumcision in the hospital because they didn't want to put stress on him. When it got time to go home (47 days in the NICU due to pPROM and hyperplastic lungs) they first said he was too old for them to do and I'd need to see a urologist and that they wanted to see how he did at home for 2 weeks before performing a circumcision. I took him to a pedi urologist a few months ago who said he wanted to wait until my son was 8 months old. That's going to be in August so his surgery is scheduled August 19th.

He also has a hidden/concealed penis and he wants to do a procedure on that. They'd be using 1/2 epidural and 1/2 anesthesia on him; he said it's easier on the baby. I know both the pros and cons of having a circumcision and not having a circumcision, we want this done so he doesn't have infections and for personal reasons.

I'm wondering if any other moms have had this with their baby? What's the downtime for this sort of thing? I'm worried beyond belief about him being put under but I have anxiety about a lot of things. I trust the hospital, it's the best in this area and the doctors have a ton of experience. I just want to know what to expect. Will this change how my child views things too? He's such a happy baby, I don't want that to change.

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Kate CP - posted on 06/19/2011

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JENNY: I just saw in your other thread on The Bump that you're pulling back the foreskin to clean his penis.

DO NOT DO THAT!!!!!!!!! You are tearing the skin and creating little wounds that are open to infection. By pulling back the foreskin to clean him you are CREATING the risk of infection! Only clean what is seen, DON'T force back that foreskin!

Ez - posted on 06/18/2011

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Jenny, PLEASE reconsider going through with this procedure. Your post sounds like you're unsure. Go with your instinct.. it's there for a reason.

The idea of spinal anaesthesia on a baby for cosmetic surgery is not something I would EVER consider. The hidden penis is not an indication for circumcision. Like Kylie said, they usually resolve themselves as the boy grows and loses his 'fat pouch'.

And frankly, those doctors did your son a huge favour by going against your wishes when he was a newborn and refusing to perform the circ. There was another NICU baby circumcised last year, at the parents' insistence, and he died. An artery was nicked, he haemorraged, and because he was already unwell he went into cardiac arrest. A horrific tragedy that could have been prevented.

Krista - posted on 06/17/2011

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We've been through so much I'd hate for something to happen because of a 'cosmetic' surgery.

So...why are you doing it, then? If you're worried about infections, then wouldn't it make more sense to hold off, seeing as he may never actually get an infection? Then, if he does get an infection someday (which is unlikely, if you care for it properly), THEN you can deal with it and possibly explore circumcision?

I'm with Kylie. I would never risk putting a baby that tiny through an epidural and anesthesia...not unless there was a serious existing medical problem that had to be dealt with.

Kylie - posted on 06/16/2011

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I have no experience with this but an epidural on a 8 month old sounds incredibly scary to me. Baby boys die from circumcision without the complication of epidural and anesthesia. There no way I would risk it for a cosmetic procedure.

Kate CP - posted on 06/19/2011

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"Yah I did the pulling back ONCE before I learned about it. That was the day I posted that thread. I'm still learning on how to be a mother so I didn't know back then. I just clean what is visible and I don't pull back skin like I did that one time."

Okay! Phew! I was worried for you guys. You know, if you are feeling like you want to bail out on this procedure but you're worried about your husband I totally understand. I had a huge fight with my hubby before my son was born. I finally told him, flat out, NO we are not getting him circumcised and he didn't talk to me for a whole day. He was pretty pissed at me for making the decision for us. But he is my son and I really, REALLY wasn't comfortable having him circumcised. I was also really, REALLY worried about how it would effect my husband (would they bond? would my husband feel like I was rejecting HIS penis because I wanted our son's to be intact? would he be willing to change diapers?) but...he loves his boy. He's bonded with him fabulously and loves him to pieces and at this point he doesn't think circumcision is worth it (for an older child). He probably still thinks babies should be circumcised but I try not to get into that debate with him as he gets all huffy. ;)

I understand the conundrum you're in. You're stuck between a rock and a hard place and you've got a bajillion people telling you what to do. So I'll tell you what to do, too:

Listen to your gut. If your instincts are screaming (or even slightly fussing) that you shouldn't do this then don't. If your instincts are telling you that yes, this surgery is the best thing for your baby, then do it. But either way, listen to your own heart. You know what's best for your baby, even if you don't know you "know". :)

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Dana - posted on 06/19/2011

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Yay!



I can imagine exactly how you feel. I dreaded my son's surgery too. It can be quite frightening and I was glad when his was over as well. Now it's just a faint memory. And you can't even tell he had surgery! :)

Sarah - posted on 06/19/2011

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Hey Dana, I do remember our conversation! Thanks for responding to my post. :) Yeah, my poor little boy dreaded getting his diaper changed for those first 2 weeks. I think it was the catheter that bothered him more than anything. :( But, now a month later he's doing wonderfully! I'm just glad the procedure is finally over & done with!

Dana - posted on 06/19/2011

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Sarah it's great to hear how it went for your son. I don't know if you remember but, my son had hypospadias as well and we've conversed about it before. I'm just really glad it all went good, as I've wondered about you and your son here and there. :)



As far as the OP.



I've wanted to sit down and post to this thread to share my experience but, haven't had the time. My son's experience was similar to Sarah's son except that he wasn't in a lot of pain when we changed him. Thankfully! I did keep up on his meds though. And then I did actually stop giving him his meds a couple days before they ran out because he was doing so well.





I don't normally weigh in on these kinds of things because I don't feel it's my place to tell anyone what they should or should not be doing. Especially since not everyone knows the full condition/story of your son's penis. Hell, I've had people tell me/ask me/ say to me, that I didn't have to REALLY have my son's fixed or have surgery. What people don't realize all the time is that doctors do know what's best for each situation. Especially pediatric urologists. This is what they've spent years of studying for, they know the importance and purpose of foreskin. They're the last ones to just say, "Let's lop this piece of skin off for the hell of it".



In the end, I hope you are able to come to some conclusion that makes you and your husband feel comfortable. I fully agree with Kate's post also. You know what's in your heart, you just need to follow it. Just make sure you have all the correct information and a clear head so you're able to make a sound decision. ~ Good luck!

Sarah - posted on 06/19/2011

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Hey Jenny, my son is 21 months old & he had a hypospadias repair done on his penis last month. Hypospadias is where the pee opening is located on the underside of the penis. Anyway, he had to undergo general anesthesia for this procedure & it lasted 2 hours. I was nervous, of course, but I knew he was in good hands. His pediatric urologist, anesthesiologist, and nurses were amazing with him.



To repair this defect, he had general anesthesia & a caudal block so he wouldn't be in as much pain upon waking. They had to use his foreskin to repair the defect so they did a circumcision as well. We stayed in the hospital for about an hour after surgery & then we got to go home. :) After the procedure he had to have a catheter that drained into his diaper for 2 weeks. He was also on 3 different medications. Changing his diaper for those first 2 weeks was hell. He was in a lot of pain when we changed him, but besides that, he was running & playing the day after surgery lol. Of course I know nothing about your son's condition, so the procedure and everything it entails is probably a lot different.



My son's procedure was medically necessary, so it might be a bit different for you. Did the pediatric urologist say that it was absolutely necessary that he get the procedure done for the hidden/concealed penis? I'm not saying that you should go one way or another. It's totally up to you & what your gut tells you. This was just my personal experience with it.

Merry - posted on 06/19/2011

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""Listen to your gut. If your instincts are screaming (or even slightly fussing) that you shouldn't do this then don't. If your instincts are telling you that yes, this surgery is the best thing for your baby, then do it. But either way, listen to your own heart. You know what's best for your baby, even if you don't know you "know". :)""
Exactly Kate, and if you go against your instincts like I did, it's all the worse if you end up regretting it because I "knew" I didn't want to do it, but I talked myself into it and now regret it.

Samantha - posted on 06/19/2011

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i would never put my son's life at risk for an opperation on his penis, sorry but seem's to risky to me! health comes before anything else

User - posted on 06/19/2011

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Yah I did the pulling back ONCE before I learned about it. That was the day I posted that thread. I'm still learning on how to be a mother so I didn't know back then. I just clean what is visible and I don't pull back skin like I did that one time.

Dana - posted on 06/19/2011

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****Moderator Warning*****

I've already given one warning to keep it on topic. Please continue to do so.

And this is separate from the warning I just gave above this one. Posters have made their point about how they feel about circumcision. No need to keep beating a dead horse. ~ Thank you.

Dana - posted on 06/19/2011

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Let's keep it calm here. No need to attack anyone. Attacking someone will only make them ignore any advice you have, even if it's factual and well intentioned.

Thanks, Dana ~WtCoM moderator

Mabel - posted on 06/19/2011

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Read up on something before you really do some harm to that kid! Geez! Get your facts!!
And watch how you are cleaning him...only clean what you can see!!!!

Dana - posted on 06/18/2011

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******WtCoM MODERATOR WARNING****

This poster has repeatedly said she's looking for other people who have been through this. Please quit derailing her thread on whether you think she should do it to begin with or not.

Thank you.

Candice - posted on 06/18/2011

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my son was circumsized at just after a year because of an infection and all the do is put them under ( you are allowed to stay till they are fully asleep) they do the precedure and then they bring them to you as soon as they wake up :) my son was up and running around as soon as they removed his iv :)

Mabel - posted on 06/18/2011

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sounds to me if you actually Read some of these peoples posts that the ones who had their sons circed had the problems after ,not the ones who kept them whole....Kind of like biting your own ass just to fit into what everyone assumes is the norm but really isn't.Now when you take the time to consider what these other people are trying to tell you is that when you have this done to your kid and he does have the problems don't feel guilty for not listening just shrug your shoulders and chalk it up as a learning mistake and then when your son is older you can explain to him how you wouldn't even consider other opinions because you had MADE UP YOUR MIND.

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I'm not anti-circ in any way, shape, or form, but if my son wasn't able to be done at birth (well, one day old).... I wouldn't have done it.

You sound like you have doubts about the procedure. Maybe there's a reason for that......

Katherine - posted on 06/18/2011

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Hello ladies -

DS is 4 almost 5 months old and he had a urology appointment to be circumcised when he's 8 months old. He had too many complications at birth and they didn't want to put more stress on him by circumcising him then and after he left the NICU (after 47 days) they said he was too old to have it done by my ob gyn but the urologist won't do it until they're 6 months old. However, that doctor felt like with his prior medical history that he'd rather wait until he is 8 months old.

Has anyone else done one later in life? I am beyond terrified. I cry everytime I think about it because I'm afraid something awful/unspeakable is going to happen to him. They're going to do half anesthesia and half a spinal epidural. What risks am I looking for besides an infection? How long does something like that take to heal (I forgot to ask the doctor these questions)? I can't stop thinking about it and it's breaking my heart. If anyone has any info please let me know, TIA



Forgot to add:

I forgot to add that he has a concealed penis so they have to do stitching at the base of the penis to tighten the skin so it's a 2 step procedure. The doctor said that doing it like this is easier on the baby then at birth since he's under anesthesia but I'm still scared.


This is you right? Then don't do it! Who cares if you have to explain. It's your sons HEALTH here.

BTW: http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/forum...

Merry - posted on 06/18/2011

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Sorry Kirsten misspelling was not intentional.
Circumcision removes an entire organ. Similar to fgm.

Kate CP - posted on 06/18/2011

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Kirsten: When I typed "To Jenny:" it was for Jenny. Anywho, no it's not. There are several different types of circumcision for girls and they are ALL mutilation and some of them remove the same amount of tissue or less. It's a double standard.

Kirsten - posted on 06/18/2011

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Its Kirsten. And yes we got very off topic. She just wanted info on a late circumcision. Girls is mutilation because it is alot more tissue cut and thicker. More bleeding.

Merry - posted on 06/18/2011

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Just take note how many moms said here about having their sons circumcised again because of complications or damage or reattachment! It's not a simple thing, even if you get it done he still could need it re done or fixed.

Merry - posted on 06/18/2011

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Kristin, since girls get far far more infections then boys, female circumcision is actually more beneficial then male circumcision in the case of preventing urinary infections.
But we call female circumcision mutilation, boys it's a 'proceedure'
Jenny, is it really worth the risk?
80% of the worlds males have their penis intact and natural. They are just fine!
I'm so sorry, I don't understand the 'personal reasons' but I assure you, putting him through this circumcision is far riskier then leaving his body as it was made.
Is there any part of you that wants to just leave him alone?

Kate CP - posted on 06/18/2011

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*sigh* Male circumcision also doesn't really prevent infection if you just take care of the penis properly.

Also, there is a school of thought that the labia can trap bacteria and fecal matter close to the uretha and vaginal opening. So, in theory, female circumcision of the labia could prevent those pesky UTIs that babies get once every blue moon.

...OR!!! We could use some frickin' soap and water and not cut off parts of our kids.

But I digress, this wasn't the point of the OP. To Jenny: I have never had my son circumcised so I don't know what the general procedure is for an older baby. I hope things go well for you and your son. Like I said earlier, I can't imagine sticking a needle into an infant's spine. It is more likely they will do some sort of pain block at the base of his penis since it won't effect his legs or spine that way but still offer the most anesthetic protection with minimal risk. I think it's good you're asking questions and I wish you the best of luck.

Kirsten - posted on 06/18/2011

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It's not the same concept, it's not going to like help prevent infection or anything. But yes the so have like cutting of girl parts.

Kirsten - posted on 06/18/2011

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You can't circumcise a girl lol. Girls get them more often because their urethra is only like an inch long, and boys are like 7 inches long. A lot farther for the bacteria to travel.

Merry - posted on 06/18/2011

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Idk I'd never risk that on my son. I had him circumcised at birth and now he has repeated reattachments and pain and trauma to the area.
I regret getting him circumcised because now he is getting infections alot because of the circumcision!
It scares me that babies die from being circumcised, and most times they are babies with other health conditions. With your sons health risks already I'd be concerned he wouldn't do well undergoing surgery.
Especially cosmetic stuff that could end up causing more damage...
Sorry, I don't think you are a bad mom, I after all did it to my son, but in hindsight I regret it more then any other parenting choice I've made.
It's put him through so much pain that was unnecessary.
More girls get infections then boys anyways, you don't see us circumcising them!

Kirsten - posted on 06/18/2011

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With my so it wasnt a real epidural it wa a pian block at the base of his penis

User - posted on 06/18/2011

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I'm going to go to the doctor and clarify whether or not it's an epidural or pain block because I can't find anything online about epidurals during circumcisions. That may have just been how I understood it

Jaime - posted on 06/18/2011

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I'm confused....because a friend of mine just had her 18 mth old circumcized again because it was done wrong. All they did was a local anesthetic and it healed fast and was fine. DO NOT please put that baby under an epidural...no way!

Kirsten - posted on 06/17/2011

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They want to wait to do it because there is a risk of anestisia in a little baby. I had to wait till my som turned one to do it. I've been in ur spot. It's scary but it's over so fast and it is jus lt fine.

Kylie - posted on 06/17/2011

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Hidden penis' are quite common and most correct themselves as the child grows older. They do not hinder potty training. From what i've been told, circumcision usually makes a hidden penis a lot worse.

Rosie - posted on 06/17/2011

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i guess i'm confused as to why they are making you wait 8 months now, i understand the initial wait but then to wait more time? is it because they need to do anesthesia and want to wait till he's older?
anyhoo, i've not have experience with epidural in a child, but anesthesia i have. my oldest had anesthesia when he was 12 months old. it was scary, but he was up immediately after. he was very tired and slow for a little while, but he was fine. :)

as for this particular procedure being "cosmetic" she stated he has a hidden penis. having a hidden penis can cause chronic infections. i don't blame her for wanting to prevent that for her child.

User - posted on 06/17/2011

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Tina, they didn't do it at birth because he was in the NICU for 47 days on oxygen and they didn't want added stress on him. I want it done because it's a personal thing. I wanted it done right away but they went against my wishes so here I am I'm not looking for people's opinions or statistics or how I'm a horrible person for thinking of putting my baby through this, no offense, I'm looking for people who have been through this and want their experiences. I'm setting up an appointment to get more answers and I'll decide from there. I feel better about it because I know I'm overreacting about it but I'll always have anxiety regarding it.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/17/2011

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Man, I'd be scared to give such a young kid an epidural but what do you do? Hun all I have for you is a huge hug, and great hopes everything goes well for you. Hope hope hope :)

Kate CP - posted on 06/17/2011

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I ditto Krista, here. The idea of anyone sticking a needle into a baby's growing, developing spine makes me really really nervous. :/

Kirsten - posted on 06/17/2011

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Yeah I was scare but it wa so simple. The dr was great and he was just fine. From the time they took him o the time it was done was about 30 mins but he also had his tounge clipped at the same time. I gave him just like baby meds like Mortrin and he never seemed in pain. I was told the pain block keeps it numb for the first 24 hr. It was completely healed in a few days. But of course u don't have to do it if u don't want, or r not comfortable with it. Just make sure it's a good dr that u can feel safe with.

Tina - posted on 06/17/2011

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I was told with my son they generally do it at birth or wait until they're around to to do it because of the risks involved using anesthesia

User - posted on 06/17/2011

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Thank you everyone. I think what you're talking about Kristen is the same thing he's having - a pain block that's like an epidural. It's an out-patient procedure and they say it takes about 30-45 minutes and he goes home an hour after he wakes up. It's those d@mn statistics that say babies die during circumcisions that make me want to cancel. We've been through so much I'd hate for something to happen because of a 'cosmetic' surgery. They did say they give you a pain med so he's not so cranky and to make sure to actually give it to him; a lot of parents are afraid they'll overdose. And they also said to use some motrin, not tylenol since the pain meds are mixed with it, to help with pain too.

Sadie - posted on 06/16/2011

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There are always risks with any type of surgery. It sounds like you've done your research, you are happy with the Doctor and the hospital and you trust them. The epidural gives good pain relief for a period of time after the surgery. Your baby boy might not be very happy for a little while but it's not going to change his personality for long. Babies are pretty resilient and generally bounce back pretty quickly, just keep up regular pain relief for a while. We all make are own decisions about circumcision and have our reasons behind the choice we make. Make sure you ask all your questions prior to him going into surgery to put yourself at ease. Good luck with it and I hope your little man recovers well.

Kirsten - posted on 06/16/2011

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My son had his circumcision redone when he was one. They noticed it had grown back when he was two months but he was to old to have it done while awake. To squirmy . We took him to a urologist. He did it as an outpatient surgery with anestisia.they also did a pain block they called which was like an epidural. He was cranky the first day it was done. After that just fine. Back to his normal self by that evening. Don't worry . Whole procedure took like 10 minutes .

Firebird - posted on 06/16/2011

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Oh for crying out loud, stop trying to scare her! More people die from car crashes and I don't ever see anyone saying "don't take your baby in a car!".

I don't know what to expect from an epidural used with an infant, but I highly doubt this will change how your son views things. He'll likely be a little cranky until he heals from the procedure, but after that he should be back to normal in no time =) You might want to try googling the effects of epidurals and anesthesia on babies for more info.

My daughter recently had an MRI and had to be put under for it, I was so worried that I almost cried, and she's 6! Turned out she handled it just fine. lol It's perfectly normal to be anxious, just do your best to be informed and I'm sure you'll come across something that will ease your mind.

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