Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Long-Term Care Reminder

One question that comes up a lot, particularly when a baby boy is 4-12 months of age is, "Why doesn't it look circumcized?" (I get this a lot more often when I wasn't the mohel, but every now and then if I was)

In most cases, "it" actually does look circumcised, except that a minor issue needs to be tweaked.

Before I continue, let me be clear that this may be difficult to understand without the visual image, but I will do my best!

Clench your fist, and look at the profile of your arm. Imagine the fist is the glans, and your arm is the penile shaft, and you understand what the penis should look like from the side. The glans should sit above the shaft, and its outer rim should be completely separate and distinct from the shaft.

UNFORTUNATELY, not all parents realize this should be the case, until it is slightly too late.

What do I mean by slightly too late? I mean
 that the longer the shaft gets comfortable sitting against that outer edge of the glans (imagine your forearm is now flush with the knuckles of your fist, without having the back of your palm as a buffer between them), the more it will look like it is stuck that way.

It isn't stuck that way, it just thinks it is.

This is where YOU come in

The vigilant parent knows that once the bris heals, a very simple precautionary move is required at every diaper change. Open the diaper, gently push the skin below the glans back a little (towards the stomach and scrotum), making sure the glans is separate and distinct, then close the diaper.

That's all! You may have to do this for a year, for 6 months, for 2 months, for 6 weeks, or not at all! Every bris is different, every baby is different, and every circumstance is different.

In the event that it just won't separate, it may be worth calling me or another mohel to separate it for you by hand (no knife - don't worry). In some cases it requires a level of "zetz" that a parent is not willing to do to a baby, but a mohel, who understands the necessity, will do as quickly as possible, while making sure nothing is too irritated.

[For those keeping score, there should be no charge for this service, unless the mohel traveled hours and hours to do this check-up.]

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