Having done hundreds of circumcisions in the past, I know first hand how painful (and sometimes dangerous) the procedure can be. It is also completely unnecessary. A growing movement across the planet (including people from all faiths) is recognizing the psychological and physiologic damage done to boys from this procedure and trying to reverse the current thinking.
Circumcision is a huge issue for many people. Though I certainly don’t recommend it, I realize that many people still feel strongly that they want the procedure done. If this is the case, here’s how to proceed: Make sure that your son’s foreskin is anesthetized at least one hour before the procedure with a topical anesthetic, such as EMLA and ELA-Max. These can be obtained without a prescription in some areas, and neither requires an occlusive dressing. Then when the time comes, ask the surgeon or the mohel (the man who performs circumcisions for Jewish families) to take off the least amount of foreskin possible. A friend of mine had the mohel make just a small cut in the foreskin for symbolic purposes, leaving the rest intact. Because she had used EMLA, her son slept through the entire procedure, experiencing no trauma at all!
Periodically, an organization called Save the Foreskins will march on Washington to raise awareness for this issue. I applaud this effort. For more information, visit their web site. To help explain the mystery of why circumcision persists, take the Circumcision Quiz developed by the organization Doctors Opposing Circumcision.