One tough decision that many families face shortly after childbirth is whether to circumcise a male baby. Circumcision, the surgical removal of skin on the tip of the penis, is performed for a variety of reasons, and may be based on religious, cultural, or cosmetic concerns. If not done properly, however, a child may suffer permanent scaring or disfigurement.
Arguments For and Against Circumcision
Deciding whether to circumcise a male child is an extremely personal decision. The American Academy of Pediatrics, whether because of medical expertise or a desire to stay above the fray, simply acknowledges that there are advantages and disadvantages, and that there is no single correct decision. There are several arguments commonly made in support of and against circumcision:
- Easier hygiene (some believe that a circumcised penis is easier to keep clean)
- Decreased risk of urinary tract infections
- Decreased risk of sexually transmitted diseases
- Penile cancer is less common in circumcised men
- Some believe that foreskin helps to prevent infection
- Risks of surgical injury
- Urinary tract infections are uncommon, so decreasing that risk with circumcision is unwise
- Rates of circumcision are steadily declining
Of the approximately two-thirds of boys circumcised in the United States, there are complications in approximately 0.2% of all circumcisions. These complications can occur with or without negligence—meaning, that some of these injuries are preventable, and some are not. The most common circumcision complications include:
Any of these complications must be treated in accordance with the medical standard of care. In rare cases, however, permanent damage to the penis, whether cosmetic or injury which reduces function, can occur during circumcision.
To learn more about circumcision injuries, contact our medical malpractice lawyers at (888)-452-4912, or send us a message through our website.