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Cutting To The Quick On Circumcision

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(file photo credit: Lisa Linder - Handout/Getty Images)

(file photo credit: Lisa Linder – Handout/Getty Images)

Recent Blog Entries From Dr. Dave Hnida


Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorThe American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines on infant circumcisions — its first revision in more than 10 years.

In essence the new guidelines say while circumcision is not a must for all infants, the benefits of the procedure far outweigh the risks.

Now there are a lot of groups who are vigorously opposed to routine circumcision — they say that it’s nothing more than genital mutilation. But the Academy disagrees.

The pediatricians say circumcision cuts the risk of diseases ranging from Herpes to HIV to UTI, and that being circumcised does not impair sexual performance or pleasure years later.

They do say, however, that local anesthesia for the infant is a must — something that wasn’t routine 10 to 20 years ago.

The rate of routine circumcision has dropped in America from 79 percent in 1980 to 58 percent in 2010. But that may not be a reflection on societal views — instead the reason for the drop is fewer Medicaid programs are paying for circumcisions, so they are just not getting done.

With this new recommendation, it’s believed more insurers will now pay for the procedure.

Despite all the political type yelling about circumcision being barbaric, the medical reasoning behind having it done is that removing the foreskin improves local immune function and hygiene — thus lowering the risk of getting infected with some nasty germ. Not perfect protection, but just an added layer.

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