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Old 06-05-2011, 10:37 AM   #1
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Circumcision - several questions, brit milah vs brit peri'ah

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a thread for flaming or debating. My DH and I have already decided what we are going to do and have not made this decision lightly. I have done my research thoroughly. Please do not try to attack my decision. I'm honestly looking for information here.

I had always planned on circumcising our sons, but due to the information I have read, I realize that I'm not comfortable with the way circumcision is typically performed. However, we want to circumcise for religious reasons. In my reading, I discovered information about the difference between brit milah and brit peri'ah:
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The Biblical rite of circumcision, called brit milah (or brith milah or bris milah), entailed the trimming of just the very tip of the foreskin, only that amount that could be pulled down over the tip of the glans. It did not destroy the entire foreskin, it did not affect normal sexual functioning, it was not the brutal rite that baby boys undergo today. The procedure was so less intrusive than what is now practiced that many practitioners of the Old Testament religion could, by pulling on the foreskin that remained, easily make themselves appear to be uncircumcized -- and many did (1 Machabees 1:11-15, 1 Corinthians 7:18). Around A.D. 140, rabbis reacted to those men who did this and instituted two procedures to follow brit milah. Thereafter, a brit peri'ah and a brit mezizah were to be performed on the child after the Biblical rite.
Pictures (drawings, no graphic photos) here: http://www.fisheaters.com/circumcision2.html

Has anyone else learned much about this or chosen the less "drastic" method of circumcision? I have two main questions.

A) Has anyone found a pediatrician willing to do this? Do you think it would be difficult? (I also want to be IN the room when it's done and I want anesthetic used, so I'm afraid I'm picky...blah)

B) How do you handle the retraction issue if you are removing so little of the foreskin? I would think you would treat it like an uncircumcised foreskin and not forcibly retract it, but my DH is concerned that any cutting whatsoever would leave open skin, which would start to adhere to the head of the penis if it isn't moved.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:08 AM   #2
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Re: Circumcision - several questions, brit milah vs brit peri'ah

I would think that a mohel would be what you're looking for. I doubt most pedi's would have any idea of how to do it that way.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:21 AM   #3
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Re: Circumcision - several questions, brit milah vs brit peri'ah

I thought of that, but wouldn't most mohels be doing circumcision the more modern way anyway? I have two friends who took their sons to a mohel, but it was done similarly to what most pediatricians do. It looks like traditional Judaism typically does this.

I'm really nervous about the whole adhesions issue. I know of several uncircumcised men who had severe problems because their foreskins were forcefully retracted when they were children, so I don't want to do that if it would hurt our LO. But I don't know if it is necessary if you are doing any circumcision at all? It's very confusing. DH says maybe I should get a consult with a urologist, but I don't know how difficult that would be.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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Find a pediatrician that will do the Mogen clamp method. It is very similar to what you quoted above and, unlike the other methods, does not separate the foreskin from the glans, so there are no adhesions.

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Old 06-05-2011, 11:44 AM   #5
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Re: Circumcision - several questions, brit milah vs brit peri'ah

Thanks! I feel like I don't know my anatomy very well, because I googled it and got this link (http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/mogen3.html), which says that "A blunt-edged probe is used to separate the glans from the preputial lining, taking care not to traumatize the frenulum." What does that mean? I know what the glans is and what the frenulum is, but what is the preputial lining? Does this mean it is forcefully separated?
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swedishmaiden
Thanks! I feel like I don't know my anatomy very well, because I googled it and got this link (http://www.circumcisionquotes.com/mogen3.html), which says that "A blunt-edged probe is used to separate the glans from the preputial lining, taking care not to traumatize the frenulum." What does that mean? I know what the glans is and what the frenulum is, but what is the preputial lining? Does this mean it is forcefully separated?
Yes. It means the foreskin is separated from the glans.

Find a mohel who is happy to do it the way you wish.

If you are doing a religious circ why would you use a pediatrician anyways? Isnt the whole point of a religious circ the ritual of the process? Maybe you are not jewish though?
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:19 PM   #7
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Re: Circumcision - several questions, brit milah vs brit peri'ah

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Yes. It means the foreskin is separated from the glans.

Find a mohel who is happy to do it the way you wish.

If you are doing a religious circ why would you use a pediatrician anyways? Isnt the whole point of a religious circ the ritual of the process? Maybe you are not jewish though?
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:47 AM   #8
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Re: Circumcision - several questions, brit milah vs brit peri'ah

Just an idea- you may want to look into a urologist over a pediatrician to perform the surgery. They may be more familiar with alternative methods.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:06 PM   #9
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Re: Circumcision - several questions, brit milah vs brit peri'ah

I considered the brit milah for my son when I was pregnant. Not because we were religious, but because I couldn't decide what was healthier--circumcised or intact. I figured a brit milah would be a good medium ground. In the end, I did more research and decided to leave him intact. I would have a mohel or urologist do it. Make your intentions clear, and watch it the whole time to make sure they are doing as you wish. My concern though...they would have to pull the skin somewhat forward to do that type of circ. I know when my son was born, there wasn't much to work with as far as his foreskin was concerned. Now his foreskin has a lot more loose overhang, but when his penis was that small, I'm sure the tip could be easily partially amputated if not done correctly.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:18 PM   #10
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They separate it but not nearly as much as the other methods, and it remains attached at the bottom. There is more skin left and the keep the frenulum, which is the most sensitive part, and is usually removed during other methods.

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