Circumcision as an adult, part 2

I just returned from my post-operative examination with dr. Stanonik. A few notes in addition to what I wrote before:
  • There are multiple circumcision styles, in particular tight (takes away more skin) vs. loose (leaves more skin), and high (cuts more regular skin, putting the scar line away from the glans) vs. low (cuts more foreskin, putting the scar line closer to the glans). Before the operation, I tried talking to dr. Stanonik about what kind of circumcision I'd get, but he didn't budge - he just said 'We're going to cut as much skin as is necessary to reveal the glans', and that was it. He didn't offer a choice, or a choice combined with a recommendation.

  • There are multiple ways to do a circumcision - with different possibilities of tools, or freehand. Some of the tools which can be used allow the cut line to be determined precisely before actually cutting. Dr. Stanonik operates freehand, and as a result, my circumcision is lopsided - the cut line is much closer to the glans on the left side than on the right side of the penis. When I asked him about this, his response was that he could do it differently, but then he could chop off part of the glans as well. This is a poor excuse - there are good tools which protect the glans penis and which would have provided a straighter and more predictable cut.

  • One other thing I didn't get a choice about is whether or not to remove the frenulum (the piece of skin under the glans that connects the glans to the shaft of the penis along the straight line under the shaft). The doctor simply informed me that he is removing it, and joked about how I should have already done the job myself through masturbation and how they're going to charge me extra for it (they didn't). I think I will like the penis without the frenulum better, but there are surgeons who give you a choice as to whether or not to remove it.

  • The swelling after the operation took longer to subside than I expected. I was expecting it would go away in 2-3 days, but it took 6 or so before substantial swelling actually started to go away. Applying ice packs at that point may have helped - or it may have been coincidental. The doctor expressed no worry over the swelling, though; it appears this is reasonably normal.

  • After the operation, there is now a spot of what looks like hard tissue, on the upper side of the shaft, and about the size of a pea. The doctor explains that this is because they had to tie a blood vessel during the operation, and that it will go away.
Overall, the penis appears to be healing well; it is very frustrating not to be able to use it. ;) It will take another week or so for the stitches and the little crust at the frenulum to fall away. I hope there will be no complications, and if so, when it heals completely, I'll make a final report of how the sensations have changed, or remained the same. :)


Crothos said…
When you talked about style and look, it reminds me of my children's circumcisions and their differences.

My oldest child’s circumcision probably looks the cleanest, defiantly a 'tight' style. Where my 2nd youngest is WAY crooked and lopsided and has definite 'loose' skin around the gland. My youngest, the baby, is a ‘tight’ style and they used a tool that covered the gland and pulled the skin away from the penis allowing for a precise cut. It still looks a bit crooked. With all my children we had different doctors with different styles and preferences, and it shows in the results. No styles, or techniques, were ever discussed with us, it was either a “Yes” or “No” to the question, and it was done. And unfortunately, we never did any research even after we seen the results and were not satisfied. I blame youthful ignorance and our timid nature. Looking back at the scars left to mine (received as a child) it is lopsided, and I have excess skin on the bottom. When I was younger I didn’t like the look of it, but I am too chicken now to have anything done about it. :)

I do have a nephew who is probably going to have this surgery at the end of the summer, he is 8. He has had numerous infections due to cleanliness but my sister feels that he is getting to old for her to keep up the cleaning and checking of his penis. She believes that he is coming to an age where she needs to press upon him the importance of cleanliness and she needs to separate herself. She also hopes he gets a sense of what is ‘private’ and what is not. Regardless of her beliefs, many doctors that she had spoken to previously strongly disagreed with her choice to have the surgery. They believed, and expressed, that after her child is properly ‘trained’ he would not have a problem again. Even my brother-in-law, who is not circumcised, doesn’t want my nephew to have the surgery; but even he has admitted now that he gets sores or irritation around the gland. They have decided to wait the summer to see if the ‘training’ helps and do more research.

I found your description of the surgery and the reason why you had it, to be familiar with my sister’s situation. I want to pass along the information and gave them a link to your blog if that is ok.
denis bider said…
Crothos: certainly, feel free to forward the link if you think it could be useful to someone. It would make me happy if it helps.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure I ever paid any attention to washing my penis when I was 8; I didn't know much about this until later when I became sexually active. Still, I had no infections and complications at an earlier age.

But later, in recent years, I would sporadically get those red spots regardless of how well I cleaned it.

I chose to try and cure this problem by way of circumcision; however, other things may affect this, perhaps diet? I've been a big fan of chocolate in recent years; and I've read about how eating a lot of sugar can exacerbate these fungus infections because it provides exactly the food that the fungus, or whatever it is, needs.

On a similar note, I've read how uncircumcised diabetics are more likely to have these recurring infections, so circumcision is advised for children of diabetics, because they are likely predisposed to diabetes and thus likely to recurring infections of the penis.

Diabetes, sugar, diet... there may be a connection here.

It's interesting that you note that your oldest child has a tight circumcision and the 2nd youngest is way crooked and lopsided. Have you observed, by any chance, any of your son's circumcision getting any tighter with age? I've read an account of a guy who claims that, after his self-circumcision in teen age, the skin actually shrank and got tighter. That sounds a bit promising to me. :)
Crothos said…
Along with the 'training' my sister and the doctors are also taking the summer to try different diets to see if there may be a problem there . I think there is also other factors not many people are looking at. We live in a desert. For instance the temprature today was 112 degrees in the shade, and sweating is mandatory. From some of the research I have done, and you as well have mentioned it, the presperation does not help with the sores due to the foreskin holding in the moister. But from an outsider looking in, I can only offer my opinions and research, it is definatly their decision.

To answer your question.

My oldest has not given me any way to check out his circumcision since he was about 5, he is 9 now. He is very shy and gets really shy when he changes. My 2nd youngest, on the other hand, is a "free spirit" and if it wasnt for my wife and I constantly getting on him to wear shorts, he would be a nudist. His Circumcision has not changed since infancy. It still has excess skin around the gland which is considerably noticable. Keep in mind he is only 6, things still can change. Hopefully :) They are all still young so the way it looks now is not a good comparison.

As a side note, I did mention something similar you said to my sister; at age 8 what child is ever thinking of how clean their penis, or anything for that matter, is? Heck I think my sons believe the Pool is one giant bath that only needs to be used once a week.
Daniel :) said…
Hi Denis. In your original blog post you ssid "After the operation, there is now a spot of what looks like hard tissue, on the upper side of the shaft, and about the size of a pea. The doctor explains that this is because they had to tie a blood vessel during the operation, and that it will go away."

I am on day 16 of my circumcision which was performed due to a burst blood vessel which involved the whole penis skin having to be "degloved", repaired and then I had yo he circumcised. I have a lump at the base of the penis (where the blood vessel was repaired). Did the lump you had where your blood vessel wad tied go away?

Thanks for your post and your help :)
denis bider said…
Hi Daniel,

yes, in my case, it was as the doctor described, and it went away.
Unknown said…
Denis,my circumcision seems to be crooked also. Just got it done a few days ago. Did you have any problems after it healed bc of it? Thanks.
denis bider said…
I've experienced no functional issues - it's just that it could look better if it was symmetrical.
Lou Duva said…
Hey, Denis. I hope you don't mind me messaging so many years after your post went up. I'm really interested in your experience as a European guy (I'm English). Since getting circumcised, have you been with many women? If so, I'm keen to know what they thought, as I don't think most European women have been with circumcised men. What sort of feedback have you had from the opposite sex? Thanks.
denis bider said…
Hey Lou -

yes, I have been with a number of women.

My wife prefers men to be circumcised because it is noticeably cleaner, and has been shown (in studies) to reduce transmission of STIs from men to women. For example, HIV transmission may be reduced by as much as 50%.

In my experience, though, few women are knowledgeable enough to be aware of increased health risks if the guy is uncircumcised. Most women don't care. There are some who prefer circumcised, and some who prefer uncircumcised, but the only way this is going to make a difference is if you are being chosen as a partner solely on the basis of your penis. This is extremely unlikely to be the case except in very narrow circumstances (e.g. you are looking to be used as a play toy by married women).

Since women do not have a strong preference, I would recommend not taking that into account when making the decision. Instead, consider if there's a strong enough reason why you need circumcision (e.g. phimosis, or chronic problems with yeast or bacteria, or too much foreskin causing lack of friction during sex) which outweigh the negatives of losing foreskin (you will never again experience sex quite the same way).

In my case, there was too much foreskin which caused a lack of friction and loss of sensation after a few minutes of sex. This was greatly improved by circumcision. However, like everyone who is circumcised, I completely lost the blissful experience I used to have on initial penetration. That's the tradeoff.

Women will be fine with it, either way.
Lou Duva said…
Thanks for the speedy reply, Denis - it's really considerate of you.

Just a trivial point to get out of the way first: you've actually got the HIV thing backwards - it's not male-to-female but female-to-male HIV transmission that's believed (in certain epidemiologic settings, at least) to be reduced with circumcision. But no matter!

Have you seen circumcision discussed in women's media in Slovenia - whatever the equivalent of Cosmo would be, for example? I'm just interested to know how women in your part of the world tend to feel about it.

I'm really sorry to read that you lost sensation. Do you feel that was because of the sensitivity of the foreskin itself, or changes in your glans post-op?

denis bider said…
I have not lived in Slovenia for 10 years, so I cannot attest to current attitudes. Given what experiences I do have, I would not expect that women would react either very positively or very negatively to circumcision. If anything, I would expect they'd find it interesting and novel, because most men in Slovenia aren't circumcised.

The loss of sensitivity is mostly due to changes in the glans penis. I was aware this would happen - the surgeon was pretty blunt that the glans penis would become desensitized, and start to feel "like an elbow".

I don't think the loss of sensitivity was because of losing nerves in the foreskin. There was too much foreskin to begin with, anyway, so it could not offer me sensation when it was itself the cause of reduced friction during sex.

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