Friday, March 25, 2011

Circumcision Gone Wrong: Lance's Story


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  1. I'm so sorry to hear your story. I am sure when he's old enough for you to explain, he will forgive you. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It's truly heart touching, and I wish everyone could realize the risks.
    Much love to you!

  2. Thank you for sharing Lantz's story here, Brooke. We have chatted before via BBC and the love you have for your boys is evident. It takes a strong person to admit when they have made a mistake. You have fought hard after the fact and your story will have a positive affect on others.

  3. Brooke, every time I read your story, I tear up. I can't imagine the pain and anguish you have both been through. But, know that you are making a difference. You and Lantz are saving other boys from the same pain by your speaking out.

  4. Brooke - as a fellow human being and mother, I know you might not be able to do this .. but it really wasn't YOUR fault. Yes you signed for it to be done and yes, now you know more about circumcision - But the DOCTOR was the one who made the really bad error and on top of it just walked out and left you with the problem. The hospital sent you home with a mere baby that needed immediate care and for that I believe THEY are the ones who should be feeling guilty.

    I am sure your son will tell you that you did what you believed was right and that OTHERS are the ones who let you down.

    Love to all of you ...

  5. I wish that people could know just how COMMON circumcision damage really is. The pro-circ community would have you believe that complications are more rare than problems with the foreskin, but it is simply not true. The foreskin is not a birth defect, and surgery on a teeny penis is DANGEROUS! This isn't a scare tactic, it's a warning.

  6. I cant breathe after reading this. I'd like to ask, what is the doctos response to what he did to your son?

    I will hope for a good future for your sons adult hood. Someone one will love him, regardless and he will love you, regardless. Thank you for sharing your story!!!

  7. Thank you for being courageous enough to share your story. Though I can only imagine the regret you still have, know that by speaking out you are ensuring that thousands of boys who might have been circumcised will be kept intact because their parents listened to what you have to say. Kudos to you.

  8. "someone said something to me that would ultimately cause me to circumcise my baby. Their words hurt so bad, that it made me do it."

    you don't have to say WHO, but WHAT was said may help others in the future...

  9. I have heard this story many times over. It's an American tragedy. Thank heavens her 2nd child remained intact.

  10. Hello Brooke,

    Hopefully many baby boys will be spared what your son had to endure because of you telling of this terrible and horrifying story.

    Unfortunately those in the circumcising business are lacking in ethics to do this to a child, so no big surprise that those responsible had nothing to say.

    From what you have described your son will have life long difficulties as a result of this abusive surgery. The foreskin is there for a reason, to protect the penis and allow the penis to grow into itself. Even a "normal" circumcision compromises natural function to an enormous degree.

    The night terrors I had as a child from a "normal" circumcision abated when I was seven or eight. It sounds like your son will need extra tenderness and comfort for a long time to try and get over his internal horror.

    Again I thank you for making this account public. People need to wake up to the fact that every circumcision is a violent horror acted out on an innocent child's body, for social conformity, and a number of other flimsy and pathetic excuses.

    Perhaps it would be proactive to consult a lawyer who works for circumcision victims. Your son should be heavily compensated and the persons responsible should be stopped from doing this to any more children.

  11. Hi Brooke,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am a man who was circumcised at birth and I so wish my parents never did this to me. I would have loved for my partner and I to experience sex as it was intended. Thanks again for speaking up.

  12. (Aubrey, I'm sure you agree, but circumcision *is* a complication. The "unwanted" consequences of circumcision are in 99.99% of cases less worse in terms of physical and psychological damage than the "wanted" effects of circumcision- what's a skin ridge or an infection compared to an amputation?)

    This story is heartbreaking, I hope you tell your son about foreskin restoration so he can retrieve part of what he's lost and reverse the glans keratinization process.

  13. Most American doctors have an incomplete education. For if they knew the functions, the purpose of the prepuce organ, they wouldn't solicit for its removal.

    "Do you desire to circumcise?", "You want that fixed?" and other such questions (like the ones you've given), is a warning sign of their ignorance. Ignorance breeds bigotry. The prejudice against an anatomically correct male genitalia needs to STOP!

    There are far more complications, including death, as a result of an arbitrary genital reduction surgery. Not one infant or child has ever died from a complete genitalia! Knives do not belong near a child's genitals. Circumcision is NOT "safe". (((DOCTORS))), PUT DOWN THAT KNIFE! This is MADNESS!

    I'm so sorry Brooke. My heart breaks for you and your dear son Lantz.

    I hope you sue their pants off! I've got your back!

  14. You are so strong for being able to speak up and share your story, and your son's. You could have just apologized to him when he got older, but no. You went a step further. You shared the heartbreak and the guilt and the pain and you FOUGHT BACK. He is a lucky, lucky little boy to have a mother who loves him so much that she didn't let her own pain silence her. Bless you.

  15. Naren from MalaysiaMarch 26, 2011 7:34 AM

    I am a father of a 3.5 year old daughter but I have been actively followed this and have shared with as many people as I could on the harm of circumcision. My heart is truly torn apart after reading about the physical pain the little angle is going through but I am also enraged about this so called "gag order" Please excuse my language that I am about to use but what the fuck????? Gag order or no order. They have mutilated your child!!! and I hope and pray to God that even though your child is no longer physically intact, you get justice for him and to all those of you ignorant bastards that tried to convince this poor mother into cutting her baby, fuck you all to hell!!! If you ever want redemption, go and spread this painfully new found knowledge to as many people as you can.

    God put the foreskin there for a reason you dumb bastards! Look at what you all have done to this poor baby!!!!

  16. As a mother whose son had complications to another...(((HUGS))). OUr society is so conditioned about circumcision. IT is sad. I really knew nothing about circumcision before having my oldest son done. It just what you did i thought and i thought there was legit reasons to do so. :( I am at least thankfully i found out the truth for my youngest and he was spared.

  17. I am sure your little boy will forgive you when he grows up. It is very important that you decided to share the story and probably saved some other kids from experiencing the same pain that he is going through. I really do hope the whole circumcision thing will be history soon.

  18. I am so sorry to read about all that you and your boy have been through. I place a lot of the blame on the doctors who do this. The reason we even have doctors is so that people can have the benefit of someone who knows a lot more about such things than they do. Even if a doctor doesn't recommend circumcision, just the fact that they are willing to do it implies that they are saying that it is safe and beneficial. I would be willing to bet that whoever circumcised your baby did not tell you that accidents that required surgery to repair were a definite possibility.

    My kids are all adopted and my second son, unfortunately, was circumcised before they let us have him. He had complications, too, although, thankfully, no where near as severe as your boy's. I felt very guilty, like there should have been something I could have done to prevent it. I felt like I needed to try to do something that would help prevent other adoptive parents who had educated themselves about from having their babies circumcised. The agency we went through has offices all over the USA and Canada. I decided to go right to the top of the organization. I wrote a letter where I briefly told them what had happened with my son and why I thought it was wrong. I really didn't expect much to come of it, but felt better for having tried. A few days later, I got a letter saying that they were going to establish a policy that would forbid their employees from requesting or paying for circumcisions of the baby boys they placed for adoption.

    My son is 25 now. He wishes he hadn't been circumcised, but it really isn't anything he thinks about much. It means a lot to him that I used our experience to help prevent the same thing from happening to others. I am sure that, when your son is old enough to understand, he will appreciate what you have done in sharing your story, in order to help prevent others from going through the same thing. I am sure that he will see that as proof of your sincerity. He will also appreciate the fact that his younger brother is intact. We all make mistakes as mothers, especially with our first children. Please try not to be so hard on yourself. You are a wonderful mother!

  19. Thank you for having the courage to share this. I hope through the sharing of such stories, children and their parents will be spared the pain of this barbaric practice. I chose to have my son circumcized. He had complications and required a second surgery to repair stenosis, stricture, and a dual skin bridge. Fortunately, we had a wonderful and highly-skilled urologist who performed the corrective surgery, and it was not traumatic for my son. I still live with the tremendous guilt and pain, and I hope that one day circumcision will not even be a consideration.

    I hope you can find forgiveness for yourself. I know the pain is overwhelming when we think we are doing the best for our precious children and learn that we've made a choice which brought pain. When we know better, we do better. You are giving others that knowledge by sharing your experience. I hope your sweet son is doing well. He may have been through a terrible experience, but it is clear he has a mom who loves him very, very much.

  20. A friend had too much skin cut off on one side and part of the penis head was removed so he lost a lot of sensitivity. For a cosmetic surgery it didn't turn out too well for him.

  21. Thank you for sharing your story. I had a similar circumstance when my son was born, in that I was pressured by his father and other male family members to have him circumsized, even though I didn't find it necessary. My son's was done with a plastibel, rather than surgery, but was still botched. At one year of age, he had to have corrective surgery that left him with SIX stiches around his tiny swollen penis. I had a similar experience with his bad reaction to the anesthesia, screaming and uncontrollable. Though my son's situation never got as bad as your boy's, I understand your pain. I feel it right along with you.

    I do have to tell you--it is not your fault. You may never forgive yourself, but you need to remember that you did what you were told was best at the time. The doctors and nurses that handled your perfect little baby are the ones at fault. As new mothers, we are often at the mercy of healthcare workers. Our hormones are out of whack, we're exhausted and no matter how much we've educated ourselves, the experience is new and frightening (as much as it is wonderful). The only thing that makes sense to us in that point in time is that this precious new life is ours to protect. The healthcare workers (doctors and nurses) that we deal with during this time can be our saving grace (as many are... wonderful, patient and respectful of our instincts as new mothers) or doom us to a life of hating ourselves for not knowing any better.

    Keep your head up and keep telling your story. Your strength is inspiring and will hopefully stop more precious little boys from having to go through what your son has had to endure.

  22. Thank You for your story. It breaks my heart to hear people getting their boys circumsized because they want him to look like daddy.. My husband didnt have the choice to say no I dont want that but my son can have that choice later in life if he wants to be circumsized he can make that choice himself

  23. sadistic doctors, child molesters. and then they stick out their greedy hands and charge parents for sexually molesting their children!

  24. I think it is a hard lesson to learn, and it is truly awful that your son had to pay the price but I trust that in the future you will follow your gut.

    I have sons from two marriages, both fathers were circumsized and thank God neither one of them had an issue about not circumsizing our son(s).

    Never listen to what others have to say if your gut/heart tells you otherwise. It is YOU who has to live with your choices, not the person jamming their beliefs down your throat...and in this case your son will have to live with the repercussions of your choice. I don't mean that in a harsh way, I am just say that sometimes our choices effect many, not just us. So be careful when making decisions, particularly ones that literal involve another persons health.

  25. What a beautiful woman you are, and a courageous, committed mother! You were coerced and your child victimized. And instead of trying to hide that, you have grown as a person and sought healing for your whole family. It always brings a tear to my eye to read stories like this. It's nice to know that real people with real hearts are still out there.

  26. Thank you for your strength to share your story with the world. As a soon to be mother, I am so happy that you shared your story with me. I would have given my son, whose due date is in late May, a circumcision, but now I have the capability to see the danger which I could bring to my son; I would be devastated if he had to suffer the same fate as your child.

    It is a barbaric practice, and I want no male to suffer a painful and hulimiating fate. I hope the whole world will hear your unfortunate story, and hopefully, with the help of strong people such as you, your account will help bring about an end of the horrible practices considered "safe" and "standard" today. I sincerely thank you for opening my eyes.

  27. Thank you for sharing this. I have tears running down my face, I feel so sad for you and the pain you and your son had to go through (and are still feeling). I hope your story prevents other precious little boys from having to go through this awful barbaric practice. Sending healing thoughts your way.

  28. I am SO sorry this happened to you and your dear son. I can tell that you are an amazing, totally conscientious mother, and that you were just trying to do the very best thing for Lantz. I 100% believe he'll be totally healed one day. Both of your boys are absolutely gorgeous!!

  29. One more thing, thank you SO MUCH for posting this. It is so important that other parents know the truth about circumcision, and you are incredibly generous and brave for sharing this story.

  30. My first son was circumcised and the procedure did not go as planned either. Luckily for him, he did not have to go through any further procedures but I still feel this same guilt and knowing that it will affect him when he gets older.

    He may have to go through more surgery when he gets older - it's too early to tell - but he complain about pain often and it breaks my heart every time I think about it.

    We do the best we can and your son is perfect.

  31. Richard RussellApril 09, 2011 9:33 PM

    Lantz is a hero for the ages. Mom, please tell him it is so. Look at his smiles, signals of hope and optimism, which he pulls up from deep within his soul; though moderated by sly hints that sometimes it's difficult to find those virtues in that soul, which has been scarred as much as his penis, he still fortifies himself and inspires us with a smile. I know about this from the botched circumcision done on me; I was almost degloved but they stopped in time avoid that but not before extensive scarring and nerve damage left me with a cosmetic horror and lifelong pain. Now I see how fortunate I was to escape with only one corrective surgery, done over the next hour or two after the botch, all without any anesthesia, of course. When will they ever learn?

  32. This is not "one of the risks". It's a botched surgery. A complain needs to be filed with the State's Medical board and a lawyer needs to consulted.

  33. The stories which I think are the saddest are where the parents know they've made a mistake in circumcising their first son and then doing the 2nd though they know it's wrong, just so the boys will "be the same". Why not admit and apologize and not make the 2nd boy pay for your sin!

  34. "This is not "one of the risks". It's a botched surgery. A complain needs to be filed with the State's Medical board and a lawyer needs to consulted."
    I agree completely.

    I had circumcision when I was 12, and lost most of the sensation 90-95%. Looking to find what I can do about it.

  35. @Jin

    Assuming you've looked into restoration, but if not, there are several links and books from this page:

  36. The Real ChristinaJune 21, 2011 1:58 AM

    @Jin, I hate to break it to you but it IS a risk. Another risk is amputation or death.

    Thanks for speaking up, Brooke!

  37. Positively heartbreaking......... thank you so much for reliving this horrible experience to allow others to know the truth.

  38. I'm broken hearted with you. I too was pressured into circ'ing my son. Thank goodness we have had no complications, yet. But I mourn daily for what I did to him. I'm so sorry this happened to you and your son. I wish I had more comforting words but if you are like me then there are no words that make you feel better about this choice. God bless you and you family.

  39. *Hugs* to you Brooke. You are are awesome woman to share your story for others to hopefully learn from.
    I feel physically ill that there is no mention of your sons father being there for the circumcision or subsequent surgeries. He was obviously so pro circumcision that he fought you over it. Could he not be bothered to do the 'dirty work" but instead let you go alone or with your mum??! I'm shocked & disgusted.

  40. Brooke you are soooo long alone. Someone I know had their son circed & had lots of issues. i am not sure the specific issues (as they felt it violated his privacy to be too specific and I tend to agree in this case) but that he ended up with a total of 6 additional surgical procedures by the time he hit adulthood. :( I had a boy in my family that required one additional surgery. The saddest part to me? NO ONE discussed that with me prior to my son being born. Although we had thankfully already decided in favor of leaving any of our sons alone, I wonder who else out there would change their minds IF they heard those stories. I only learned those stories after saying my boys were intact & then having them say "Oh good" and explaining why they felt circ was a mistake. I think that is a little late. I tell them too that they should tell as many expectant parents as they can. Perhaps had someone told them of their own horror story, their children might have been saved the trauma. Every time I read another story it gets harder & harder for me to understand why it remains a parental choice situation. If I randomly decided to alter any other normal healthy part of my baby's anatomy the Dr's would tell me no & maybe even call CPS.

  41. I am so proud of you for posting your story and sharing it all of us.

    I had to pause while I was reading your story about the botched Circ for your son. I am so sorry that you went through this, and that Lantz had to endure this as well.

    There is no judgement, we are all on our own written path. My hope is that your story touches other mothers who may have never given RIC a second thought.

    I am so blessed to have my intact 11 yr old son. I still to this day endure eye rolls, disgust, and judgement, and this is from my own family.

    We must advocate for our children, no one else will.


  42. I couldn't continue reading this! I am so sorry this happened! I have made decisions in my life as a parent that we're still dealing with the side effects, and I still feel the guilt, and my husband almost on a monthly basis has to remind me that we can't live in the past. I pray you find peace!

  43. My heart breaks for you, Brooke! It probably sounds awful, but I hope that the person with those terribly mean words carries more guilt than you. Please know that you did your best. Your son will understand that you would never intentionally cause him harm. {{{hugs}}}

  44. This has torn me up for the day. I cant stop crying wow. I didnt circ. my son and forever grateful i didnt now. Thanx for opening your wounds for us to hopefully learn. Circ should be labeled as child/sexual abuse-unbelievable! Leave their penises alone, dont know HoW those doctors sleep at night.

  45. A hospital gag order? You have to be kidding me! Or not... this is horrible.
    THANK YOU, Brooke, for honestly sharing your story.
    May spreading the word help you heal your wounded heart so you can go forth and continue to nurture your sons with unconditional love. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  46. I just shared this story and I think I may be helping change some people's perspectives. Maybe a few months down the line I'll post another ;)

  47. To the last comment my husband lantzs father could not get off work for his circ but was there right beside me for everything after and he is now against circ and was very happy we kept our 2nd son whole!!

  48. oh Brooke ((((hugs))))) for you all

    thank you for sharing this.....

  49. I've seen circumcisions before which are sicking, I've read horror stories about circumcision but that story was among the worst things I've ever encountered in my entire life. I am very glad that Brooke decided to share this most horrid story though because in sharing this story she will prevent others from enduring what she and her son have endured.

  50. Oh dear Mama! You are a wonderful, amazing, life changing woman. Thank you so, so much for your story. I have a friend considering what to do to her baby - she would be the first in several generations that she knows of to keep her children intact. Thanks to your honesty she's decided to look into things further and is now heading in the direction of being informed and protecting her sweet child. I wish I could hug you in person!

  51. My deepest sympathies to Lance. Few of us will ever know the pain he will experience as he becomes more aware of what has happened to him. :-(

  52. Hooray! I shared your story on my wall and a friend has been asking all about circ who never thought about it before! I hope that she (and anyone else who reads our conversation) can take something away from the post that will change their minds about their future sons. As for me, I knew the moment I read about circ that any of my baby boys would be left whole. My future husband was pretty reluctant until I explained all about why it's wrong and made him watch a video on youtube of a circ. Now he is on my side 100% :)

  53. Oh my god, that is so sad. I can't believe people do this JUST for society reasons. This can happen to anyone, something WORSE could happen to anyone. HOpe the kid is doing ok.

  54. I am so sorry to hear what had happened.
    I couldn't get my son circumcised because I was scared to and I still am scared.
    Your son will deffinately forgive you there's no doubt about that.
    I say that he will realize it wasn't your fault, that someone had hurt you bad enough that you decided to go through with the procedure.
    Plus the doctor should have told you from the beginning that he/she messed up.
    They shouldn't have told you to take him home if he was bleeding that much.

    I hope everything has gotten better and that. Your little man doesn't need anymore surgery.

    I hope all is well with your family.

  55. Thank you for sharing your story; I'm so sorry for all you've been through. I wish people understood how common circumcision damage is. Sometimes it's deadly....over 100 deaths per year in the U.S.! I can't wrap my head around why we continue to practice this "custom" here in the U.S. Keep spreading the word Brooke...God bless you.

  56. Forgive yourself, mother xx.

  57. roger desmoulinsApril 16, 2012 1:36 PM

    Becca, thank you for sharing the tragic story of your son, and for defying the "gag order" (a phrase that makes me gag!).

    The RIC rate for men born in 1950 in Australia, Canada and New Zealand was over 90%. It's now 15%, 30% and 0%, respectively. Why? Because the medical profession in those countries did not deceive itself about the occasional botch, the occasional penis damaged for life, the rare death. In those countries, medical school professors were free to advise the next generation of doctors not to circumcise. Doctors were free to not suggest circumcision to mothers of sons. The only places in the English speaking world where the taxpayers pays for cutting baby boys is 32 USA states. RIC invariably dies out under a single payer system.

    When it comes to RIC, the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff are the pediatric urologists. I condemn American pediatric urologists for not revealing how much of their caseloads are due to botched RICs. I do not believe published studies that claim that the serious complication rate of RIC is only 0.1-0.2%, because the data are collected only from the hospitals where the RICs were performed, and only for 90 days after the surgery. I also condemn the fact that there has never been a careful study of a large random sample of adult American penises and their sexual capabilities. It is unconscionable to operate on millions of penises, and then never look at the long run outcomes.

  58. roger desmoulinsApril 16, 2012 1:45 PM

    American parents want to circumcise their boys, fearing that if they don't, their sons will be taunted and ridiculed by other boys in locker rooms and summer camps, and rejected by women when he starts dating. A natural penis is seen as an Epic Fail penis, a Weird Dick.

    American doctors and maternity wards are happy to oblige parents because doing so rings the cash register. Shame on doctors for catering to the shallow sexual insecurities of parents, and for remaining willfully ignorant about the sexual virtues of the intact penis.

    Most intactivists are women because women over the past 40 years have thought much more deeply about sexual insecurities. The journey from vulva pride to foreskin acceptance is not a long one.

  59. Sorry to hear that happened to your son too. I have lived with a botched RIC for 6 decades and it is no fun. It was insulting to find out that someone modified my so called private parts. Then My parents would not talk to me about it. It is a small second scar that runs to the base following a crooked path over the one where nature put me together. You worry about what would happen when he meets Mrs. right. Well in my case it was "what's wrong don't you like it when I touch you" I was confused because I did not feel a thing. and no one warned me that I might have problems.

    From what I found out they damage a lot of us and cover it up. Doctors Lie a lot to get people to do what they want. Worst of all they are more than happy to hand you a bill and a damaged boy that they don't have to rase. They actually DON'T care!

    Don't fall for the locker room LIE the others are jealous because no one asked them how they want to go through life and now they have no choice. The other thing is w/ internet they will find out that it was not necessary and feel bad when they see some kid tied to a board and screaming its little lungs out, and know that happened to them too and no one cared that this was the fastest way for a Dr. to make his car payment. AND THAT IS THE ONLY REASON TO DO THIS!

    ADVICE If you did this to your son talk to him about it and why you did it. It is ok to say you were miss informed. But it is not ok to send them out into the world clueless and here "What is wrong with YOU" No one ever said I guess your mom picked a bad Dr. It was always MY fault that I don't work right.
    I have more trouble between my ears than legs because no one would talk to me or cry with me.

  60. Thank you for sharing your story! Because of it my son wasn't circumcised! I cannot thank you enough

  61. Why would you have this removed, if you really wanted to help others??

    1. Because the mother and author requested that it be removed and all who author here are entitled to the rights of their own works.

      She has written another article that you may be interested in reading:



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