From his website drpeterbell.com:
“Dr Peter Bell is an experienced specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist providing an extensive range of services in obstetrics, gynaecology and minimally invasive laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery.
He is a Visiting Medical Officer at Westmead hospital. His private hospital appointments include The Norwest Private Hospital, and Westmead Private Hospital. Previously he was appointed at the Sydney Adventist Hospital (The SAN) but relinquished that appointment because sydney traffic did not allow timely attendance in an emergency.
Dr Bell studied medicine at Sydney University and graduated with first class honours. Additionally, he has an honours science degree and a certificate in Nuclear Medicine technology.”
Under “Information, Circumcision…”
Circumcision, yes or no. It is an emotive issue. Overall, the pros and cons are about equal.
My view is that it is not wrong to perform a newborn male circumcision, nor is it wrong not to perform a circumcision. There are however times when circumcision cannot be performed (when it is contraindicated).
If you have decided to proceed, then please note the following;
▶ Male newborn circumcisions only. Only for newborns who are three weeks of age or younger.
▶ There is a cost to you.
▶ Up to 3 weeks of age MAXIMUM. The earlier the procedure is done the less pain and the fewer the complications.
▶ Circumcisions are only performed once a week on a Monday morning only.
The pros and cons are not equal, as this is a permanent amputation of part of the penis for which there is no informed consent. The doctor should take care of pregnant women and take mondays off.
Arguments FOR Circumcision
Decreases the incidence of urinary tract infections (UTI). In un-circumcised infants there is a 10-12 times increase in the risk of UTI. If a child has a UTI in the first year of life there is a higher risk of kidney failure, meningitis, bone marrow infection, and even death.
Decreased incidence of phimosis (inability to retract a tight foreskin), balanitis (inflammation of penis), and paraphimosis (constriction of the penis by a tight foreskin). Up to 18% of boys may develop one of these problems by 8 years of age. The chance of these problems occurring in circumcised boys is virtually nil.
In Africa the risk of catching HIV is less, but this may or may not be true in Australia.
Decrease incidence of problems with erections at puberty
Decrease in urological problems and infections in older men
Elimination of the risk of penile cancer in later life if circumcision is performed in the newborn period. However, penile cancer is extremely rare in uncircumcised males in the Western world (about 1 in 100,000).
Possibly a decreased incidence of Sexually Transmitted diseases (Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, Genital Herpes or warts).
It should be noted that the risk of operative complications increase if the procedure is performed in later life rather than the newborn period.
A percentage of males who are uncircumcised undergo circumcision in later life.
Arguments AGAINST Circumcision
Complications may include;
Pain during the procedure and shortly after
Haemorrhage (Bleeding). About 1:1,000 risk.
Retained plastibell (the bell would need to be cut off. Anaesthetic not required).
As for any wound or cut, other much less common (very rare) complications may occur,. They are;
Meatal stenosis (tightening of the urethral tube)
Avascular necrosis (death of tissue because of poor blood supply)
Concealed penis (penis buried in the body because of adhesions/short penis/obesity)
Surgical Hypospadias (abnormally placed urethral opening)
Urethro-cutaneous Fistula (urine comes out at an abnormal location)
Cysts of the glans penis (the glans is the head of the penis)
Fibrotic phimosis after inadequate surgery (ie. Too much foreskin left and this skin tightens up and restricts the penis).
Lymphoedema or elephantiasis (very rare fluid build up in the skin)
Laceration of the penis or scrotum
Asymmetric removal of foreskin (that is, the cosmetic appearance is not to the liking of the parents)
No source listed for the UTI information. The “bleeding” statistic is wrong as circumcision always results in bleeding.
Looking at the risks vs. benefits listed above I’d have to say leave the baby intact.
“Circumcision,- FAQ” tells us:
Cost and payment. The cost of the procedure is $500 and is to be paid in full using Cash or Credit Card at the time of the procedure. Medicare will pay approximately $100 meaning you will be out of pocket about $400.
Deposit. There are a limited number of practitioners able to perform circumcision. Those patients who book the procedure and then cancel disadvantage other patients who have been informed that a booking is unavailable. For that reason, we require a NON REFUNDABLE booking fee of $200, paid by credit card at the time of booking, which will be deducted from the circumcision charge if you do proceed.
Can we observe the procedure? Because your baby deserves our full attention during the procedure, parents are NOT permitted to observe the procedure.
$500 is a lot of money for unnecessary surgery, and not being allowed to witness it just confirms the shocking nature of the mutilation.
Under “Disclaimer” there’s this:
Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not warrant or represent that the medical information on this website:
(a) will be constantly available, or available at all; or
(b) is complete, true, accurate, up to date or non-misleading.
(c) Professional assistance
(d) You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.
His practice information follows:
142 Tuckwell Rd
Telephone: ☎ +61 2 9894-0040
Fax: +61 2 8212-5955
E-mail: ✉ [email protected]