Reviewed by William Blahd on April 19, 2016
Sheldon Marks, MD Urologist; Male Infertility Specialist, Prostate Cancer Specialist, Microsurgical Vasectomy Reversal Specialist, Tucson, Ariz.
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Sheldon Marks, MD: In competent hands the risks of circumcision are almost unheard of. Problem is that circumcision is considered to be a basic entry-level technique. When I was in medical school, I went to the local county hospital and the intern taught me how to do a circumcision. The next day I was told 'you go do the circumcision.' So here I am, medical student right out of basic science, there's very little actual hands-on experience and I'm doing newborn circumcisions without anybody supervising. That was wrong. I know I did a good job and they had beautiful penises when I was done, but that was not right. Circumcision is an easy procedure to do, but it's also very easy to do it wrong, to have complications, and so it needs to be a trained, experienced doctor who is competent in doing circumcisions who should be doing them. Not just an intern, not just somebody who wants to do it occasionally. Urologists are obviously the logical choice because we're the only specialist that's trained in surgical management of genital urinary abnormalities. Many OBs do circumcisions, many family practitioners, and many pediatricians. But whoever does it, it should be somebody who knows what they're doing, they do it a lot, they have a great track record.