Neonatal Circumcision [A video for heathcare professionals]

This video was made last year "for healthcare professionals" by Sparks Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in Sparks, NV. It is the circumcision surgery of newborn baby, Ben, in their clinic.

As you watch, note that the doctor states prepuce amputation is done for "cosmetic" reasons - not medical necessity. Yet he continues on to say that this surgery has been conducted in the same manner for 3,000 years. This is not true. [For more information see: Biblical Circumcision and related information on genital cutting pre-1900s North America.]

As Ben's mother is told that there are risks to circumcision, she covers her ears. The amputating physician tells her that complications from the operation are "very rare" and "knock on wood, we just don't see it." Untrue. A large number of infants who undergo circumcision surgery have post-op complications to one degree or another. And all have had the most sensitive, most erogenous, part of their penis removed forever.

As Ben starts to cry, the physician quickly asks, "Do you have any questions?" "Nope," replies Ben's mother, and the tape is stopped while Ben is strapped to the circumstraint board. When the tape begins again, the physician is satisfied that Ben's arms and legs are tied down tightly and explains that you must make sure a baby is "well restrained." Even a newborn will kick and roll and claw in a desperate attempt to avert an knife attack on his body.

The penis is rubbed with alcohol which serves two purposes - it kills bacteria immediately available on the surface of the penis pre-op, and it causes an erection in an infant which makes it easier for the physician to tear and cut the prepuce (foreskin) from the glans (penis head) as the two organs are otherwise tightly fused together (like your fingernail is to your finger). Anesthesia is injected into the penis (which does nothing to numb the dorsal nerve at the base of the penis). As he begins, the physician says, "Sorry, Buddy. This is the part that everyone hates..." and continues on.

Ben's cries may haunt you. They are the desperate, urgent, pleas to be rescued from the most horrific pain imaginable - the cutting off of one's genitals. They are not typical cries of a baby in need. Parents who have viewed their son's circumcision surgery will tell you that they've never heard a cry just like this.

If you have previously witnessed circumcision surgery, this may not be for you to watch. However, if you are considering circumcision for your baby (which, in the United States is the complete amputation of the prepuce organ and frequently the frenulum) please do watch. To make a research-based decision, parents must be fully informed about what circumcision surgery entails, including all aspects of the operation, the many important functions the foreskin serves in infancy and adulthood, and intact care as well.

There are many locations to go for learning more about circumcision. Available books and websites are included on this page, or to view additional surgeries (if one is not enough) search "circumcision" on YouTube. Although the majority of parents today keep their sons intact, we still find a percentage of those choosing circumcision without being well informed. In 2011, no parent should be birthing a child without being well versed in the subject ahead of time.

Ben, before and after his prepuce is amputated: 

Note (above) that it is readily obvious Ben has been subjected to forced retraction already at this point in life. As a neonate, his prepuce should be tightly fused to the end of his penis, and there should be no gaping, red area. The physician also tells Ben's mother that they have "already checked" further up on Ben's shaft (commonly, as far as he was able to retract the prepuce) to check for hypospadias. Absolutely no one should be retracting your baby, for any reason. But there is an epidemic of forced retraction in the United States that parents need to be aware of.

(Above) The physician has stimulated Ben, forcing an erection. This allows the prepuce to be torn easier, for the clamp or bell to be placed tightly, and for cutting to take place with a slightly reduced chance of accidental glans (head) amputation. Others have noted that this is truly the first time in a baby's life that sex (manual stimulation of the penis to cause an erection) and violence (the non-consential, painful cutting up of the penis) mix. The Gomco clamp is used on Ben. It is one of the two most commonly used circumcision clamps in the United States, the second being the Plastibell. There are some parents who are told that the Plastibell does not involve cutting. This is not true. The prepuce is still torn apart from the glans, the bell is placed on the raw glans, the prepuce is pulled up over the glans, a string (instead of metal clamp) is tied around the prepuce, and everything above the string is cut off. There is no such thing as a "blood free" or "knife free" circumcision surgery. To view a Plastibell circumcision and learn more see this page.


Ben may now face many weeks or months of "colic" (higher in babies who have endured severe pain in their post-partum days). He may show signs of infant PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) via increased episodes of fright, crying, terror, lapsing in and out of a semi-comatose state (increased drowsiness, sleep), decreased interest in eating, nursing complications, thrusting instead of suckling at his mother's breast, reflux, belly aches, and neurological changes. He is now at a heightened risk for failure to thrive and faces several weeks of post-op healing. He is more likely to face infection, meatal ulcers, post-op phimosis, fibrosis, and potential need for repeat surgery. Until his penis scars and calluses over, he faces the risk of hemorrhage, which, if it occurs, will hopefully be stopped via clamps, or heart failure and death can result. He may move his body differently than his intact peers as he grows, and will respond to vaccinations and other painful episodes with higher cortisol (stress hormone) spikes and a lower threshold for pain, even into adulthood. The odds are, unfortunately, not in his favor to walk away without any post-op complications.

The CDC reports that 68% of baby boys born in the United States in 2009 remained intact. Their parents said "no" to circumcision.

No national or international medical organization in the world recommends infant circumcision.

Additional Gomco Style Circumcision:

The three most common forms of infant circumcision in the United States and Canada.
Update: Since 2008 when this article was first made, Mogen has lost multiple lawsuits for glans' amputation and has been deemed "unsafe" for use by clinicians performing infant circumcision. Today the most common forms of genital cutting are by Gomco and Plastibell.

Tshirt from Made By Momma



  1. How can a father stand by and listen to his son cry like that and not know that something is horribly wrong?! omg How in the world is this okay? The child is obviously traumatized ... what are we doing to our boys? What!??? In fact, how can a doctor who has taken the oath to first do no harm do this procedure in the name of good practices? Disgusting.

    1. pro circs think differently. i was pro circ before i accepted that the doc and my parents had no right to circumcise me. when men are pro circ they have not got over that a doc could have the authority to damage his penis. when women are pro circ they do not want to think the parents they love could have done something bad to the brother they love. when i was pro circ i watched circ vids and did not think it was bad. i would think it was better they used a plastibell or gomco than sniping it and letting it bleed and i thought all boys wanted to be circumcised so doing it as a baby was a good thing.

      what turned me intactivist was i wanted to date a girl at my school. she was openly intactivist so i pretended to be intactivist. we went to an intactivist meeting with her other intactivist friends and there was a table there with a circumstraint and gomco clamp. a boy went past and asked his mom what the gomco and circumstraint was. i thought all boys wanted to be circumcised and thought he would like what it does and want to try it on. which shows how pro circs think. as his mom was explaining it to him and his brother and sister i did not expect the reaction they gave after the mom showed them the nut thing is tightened and told them the foreskin is cut off. they were all open mouthed and the sister asked her mom if her brothers had that done to them and she said no and the boys both agreed they were happy it was not done to them. seeing that happen made me start to question my beliefs on circumcision. i thought all boys wanted to be circumcised but they had proven that was not true and as i started to research and understand my circumcision was done with out my authorization that it is wrong to circumcise a baby and i was only pro circ as i wanted pay back for being circumcised with out consent

  2. Re: additional Gomco circumcision

    THIS is the video that all parents considering cutting their son should be made to watch. The father had no idea that the only "anesthesia" that was going to be used was a topical mixed in with the cleaning solution. Does that sound like informed consent? Hear how the doctor blames the baby for "getting himself worked up" as HE tears the foreskin from the glans? Notice that the father stops talking completely? Notice how freeing the baby's arms doesn't do a thing to him calm himself down, like the doctor promised (guess it's not JUST the restraints that cause babies to scream in agony while having their foreskin sliced off,... hmmmm,....)How has the AMA not put an outright ban on circumcision performed without AT LEAST a dorsal nerve block? How, as parents, are we handing our sons over to be cut up, mutilated, scarred for life?

  3. I just watched some of this and had to turn it off. I was crying my eyes out! The pain these precious little boys are going through and no one cares! It is torture for them when they just want to be held and loved. So totally heartbreaking :( I think every parent needs to watch this before they choose to have their little babies circumcised. So happy to say my 3 sons are intact...born perfect and brought home perfect.

  4. Circumcision should only be a solution to a problem, i.e phemosis. Religious beliefs and trends are archaic and barbaric with regard to circumcision. Why dont we remove our eyelids?? our lips? God made man in his image, it is in most religions' Old Testament, surely that would include a man with a foreskin?? There is a huge drive against Female Genital Mutilation! What about male?? Theories of reducing chances of HIV infection, only to be falsified a few years down the line, and then back again, a bit like whether tea or coffee is bad for you, tens of years battle between coffee and tea industries!! With the advent of running water in our homes, the ancient theory of circumcision for cleanliness, should by now be history! Long live Skin!!

    1. Even phimosis is typically misdiagnosed in boys far too young (when the prepuce should still be tightly adhered to the glans).

      "The Phony Phimosis Diagnosis"

      "Protect Your Intact Son"

      "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision"

    2. well from what we know now that old testament version was more akin to a slight poke or cut that dropped one or two drops of blood. somehow the way they did it left a mark so you knew they had partaken of the covenant. it was the babylon cultures like Egypt and others that started the whole sale removal of the entire foreskin. at some point the Jews forgot the original version and adopted the mutilation that goes on now.

      the new testament has a few examples of the babylon circumcision getting condemned. Jesus of course at some point says the entire Law of Moses is fulfilled in Me and does away with the law. there is even a part where Jesus heals a man whos only mentioned injury is being circumcised. Paul I think at some point in the new testament asks why dont those circumcised males go all the way and castrate themselves. so its clear the original covenant version and what somehow became the popular version were two different things. it seems God wasnt the heartless heathen he gets labeled as cause I would have to agree I'd follow no God that wanted me to mutilate my penis....I could do the one or two drops of blood thing I might not enjoy it but that wouldnt kill me. truthfully Ive had worse as one time I got a nasty cut on my penis(no not my circumcision scar although that is a nasty cut) so if I can survive that I could survive dropping a drop or two of blood. and dont ask I really dont know how I got a cut on my penis.

      so it is important to note that the old testament covenant was drastically different than the circumcision of today.

    3. I wish I was not circ but at lest I can make sure it never happens in my home.

  5. "This is Ben...he is NPO... which means he skipped his last feeding." Otherwise in his attempt to free himself, during the fear he feels as things are being started on him, and during the feeling of the slicing off the skin of his precious penis, he might vomit all over himself and possibly aspirate his milk. Another horrible side effect.

    1. Starve a newborn baby, and then slice apart his penis as he is strapped to a board screaming so hard he can barely breathe. Sounds humane, doesn't it?

  6. I really can't watch this... I've seen videos on this before. It makes me so sick.
    I had my first son done when he was borne 5 years ago. And my one year old is intact. But I almost feel like I can't even be joyful about saving my second son, because as a wife of a circumcised man, I don't enjoy sex, and I know it's not me (I had a couple intact boyfriends, and sex with them was miles better and nothing was uncomfortable or painful about it). And I cannot live with the fact that this torture happened to my precious boy.
    I wasn't in the room when it was done... I feel so sick and ashamed. His doctor told me it'd be as easy as the removal of a skin tag, which, by the way, my first son was borne with. He also reassured us that it wouldn't hurt because he'd be given Tylenol and sugar water.
    We kept the skin tag, because I thought it was silly to have it removed because he was borne with it and it was unique. I hate the irony there so much. I was literally in a place of having no knowledge of what foreskin or circumcision even was. I literally just thought that those two guys I knew were different were just blessed with better penises! I think of my mistake everyday now that I have my second son.
    I've asked for help with coping in other groups, and I've received no help.
    This is so painful.
    I tend to think that the very traumatic episiotomies I had (involuntarily) are some sort of Karma for me unwittingly allowing this to be done to my son.
    I feel like I could die, and that I can never deserve anything good.

    1. Have you looked into foreskin restoration? For your husband and maybe your son can choose to as well when he gets older.

    2. The fact that you agonize over this as much as you do shows that you're not the horrible mother you think yourself to be. Yes, you made a horrible mistake. A good amount of parents make horrible mistakes, and they come in many forms other than circumcision. My son was around 18 months old when I allowed him to be stitched up without anesthetic because of my ignorance. You have to let go and move on. You love your children and they will grow up knowing this. When he starts asking about the differences between his penis and his brothers you'll explain to him that you made a horrible mistake and he'll forgive you and he'll move on.
      You are NOT a bad mother!

    3. It's not your fault that you didn't know the truth until now. Please, please forgive yourself. It will do nothing to help your son grow and learn from you if you live in a state of grief all the time. Doctors gave you episiotomies because they *thought* they were helping. Western medicine has been performing unnecessary interventions, ignoring the outcomes for years. It's the same reason they gave your son a circumcision. They didn't know any better, but now you do. And you can turn your experience into a lesson for others to avoid this same pain you have gone through. Think of how amazing and powerful that is.

    4. If it is possible for you, I suggest you try and find and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) practionner to help you with this guilt. I feel for you... Like others said, you did the best you could at that time... Big hugs to you...
      Here is a link to EFT (tapping)

  7. This is truly disgusting. How can such a horrible traumatic procedure be considered normal?! This poor babys cries made me cry. I cannot believe his own parents could sit there and watch this happen to this innocent boy.

  8. Ahhh, the soothsayers of the medical industry. First do no harm, my foot!!

  9. I am the type of person who does research before making a lot of decisions; it's almost obsessive. I am 22 and in college, I have no children. Watching this was hard, but I'm glad to be watching this because if I ever have sons, I have witnessed the trauma of circumcision. To think of the emotional scars a baby can have. A post I read on this website about a baby having night terrors made me think that babies can develop PTSD from this surgery.

  10. I don't even know what to say I'm so lost for words. I was just starring at my 7 month old and said I'm sorry because I had a circumcision done on him

  11. My 4 year old son is intact and my son due in a week will be intact. I will never regret my decision to keep them intact.So many members of my family criticize me for my decision and are trying to get me to change my mind. They are ignorant and uneducated on the matter I dont feel bad.

  12. Face it: this is your son's first sexual experience. Assault, battery and mutilation. He has just been robbed of 80% of the erogenous tissue of his genitals. The issue, the question, is simple: do you want your son to have his whole penis, or half his penis? And who the f*&% are you to decide that? It's HIS penis, HIS choice (as if he would ever decide to have a knife taken to his genitals), not yours. And this doctor, all circumcisers, is so immune to the pain of his patient that he can casually use terms like "gentle" and "carefully" (along with "this is the part they hate the most!") while remaining oblivious to the harm he is sworn not to commit. I can't imagine any parent having their son subjected to this clear and horrible torture after watching this video - right?

  13. Jesus Christ, I just watched a rape video on the internet. I just saw a rape. A little kid rape. I cannot believe cutting off little children parts is legal.


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