Is circumcision painful?

Most physicians who perform circumcisions do not use anesthetics even after they are taught how. – Circumcision Resource Center

Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves forcefully separating the foreskin from the glans and then cutting it off. It is typically accomplished with a special clamp device ( see Fig. 2 ). Over a dozen studies confirm the extreme pain of circumcision. It has been described as “among the most painful [procedures] performed in neonatal medicine.”( 2) In one study, researchers concluded that the pain was “severe and persistent.”( 3) Increases in heart rate of 55 beats per minute have been recorded, about a 50 percent increase over the baseline.( 4) After circumcision, the level of blood cortisol increased by a factor of three to four times the level prior to circumcision.( 5) Investigators reported, “This level of pain would not be tolerated by older patients.”( 6)




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