There Seems to be Some Pain in Every Circ
by Denise, LPN (12/1999)

I guess the part that gets me is the variance in pain. Now I've seen some where the baby barely cried at all. Then I've also seen some where there was EMLA [cream] and a DPNB [Dorsal Penile Nerve Block] or a ring block and the baby still cried! I KNOW the ring block is better overall. I have never seen a painless circ with a DPNB or EMLA alone. It truly varies. Some babies slip by the separation process. I think the amount of attachment [of the foreskin to the head of the penis] really varies. Most are pretty attached; a few are very loose. It depends on a lot of things I guess.

I have had novacaine for cavity filling and had to have 3 injections and 2 different people try to hit the "right" area. I believe a circ is like that. Some doctors SUCK at administering pain relief. The ones who are asked to do it, who don't usually use it are the ones who give it half-ass. They don't really feel it's needed, so I know they don't give a damn how they inject it and where! Then there are those who truly care, truly feel that pain relief is a must and who will stop the separation process to adminster more lidocaine solution. Babies are human, they react differently to pain, to the meds, to the way it's given....overall, there seems to be some pain in every circ, but the ring block with EMLA ones really are the "better" ones- if a circ can be good!

It's hard. On one hand I want to say "You know what? Your child may still scream, fight, turn blue....anesthesia does not work 100%", but then I am afraid parents who will circ anyways will just do it and screw any pain relief offered or not ask for it! I am telling you, there are some cruel doctors out there who are respected and liked like you could not believe!!! My ob's partner charges exactly $100 for a circ, does then in office, no pain relief. Says it's just fine, laughs at people like me! I want to strangle him! I called his office, talked to the head of operations for the clinic and told her how disgusted I was at his "cool" attitude towards these babies' pain, that everything he does and recommends goes against even the lax AAP's recommendations, that if he must circ babies, he needs to follow recommended protocol and give these babies adequate relief. She got real quiet, told me she'd "pass it on" and hung up!!! I was soooooooooo mad! I've seen too many babies when I've been there for my visits over the past 4 years who have been screaming and crying! It's frustrating. It gets tiring. But I know it's worth it.

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