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Non retractable foreskin
Anyone hold off the surgery


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31 replies to this topic

#1 amanda1982

Posted 12 February 2013 - 07:59 PM

Unfortunetley we have just seen the GP and has said my 5 year old has a non retractable foreskin. I am very upset that he will be needing surgery. The  GP has said sometimes cortisone creams can help but he is pretty sure in my sons case it won't. I now have a referral to see the surgeon.

Has anyone else been told this to then hold of on surgery and then for the foreskin to actually retract.

I will take the advice from the health professionals but was just wanting to see if there were any real life situations where they did the wait and see approach.

Edited by amanda1982, 12 February 2013 - 08:02 PM.


#2 B.feral3

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:04 PM

I would say that your son not retracting at 5 is a very typical variation of normal. I can't see my son's doing so in the next 9 months before he is 5. I'd be very careful of older generation GP's who wouldn't know what a healthy uncut penis was meant to look like and function if it was right there in front of them.

Get another opinion OP and don't whatever you do try and forcibly retract the foreskin yourself!

I'd recommend this article on 'phony phimosis'.  original.gif
http://www.drmomma.org/2010/01/phony-phimosis-diagnosis.html

#3 fairymagic

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:08 PM

Hey there. This happened to us - we saw a surgeon when he was around 8 though. They like to give them time. The cortisone cream used to be used for treatment - it didn't work with my DS. They don't use it now = they use another cream called Calmoseptine which you can get from the chemist. Applied 2 - 4 times a day this may help. For us, it didn't. My son had to be circumcised at 9 (the surgeon gave us nearly 12 months of the cream) under a GA and recovered well. A little uncomfortable the first day. Had I think two or three days off school and then the weekend - was back by the Monday.

Try the cream first. A friend whose son had the same problem went through the same as me. GP prescribed steroid cream - didn't work. Referred to same Paediatric Surgeon. Given Calmoseptine and it worked for them after 6 - 12 months. He didn't need to be circumcised.

Good luck. At 5 he may still be a little young in some surgeons opinions to need a circumcision yet.

#4 TheGreenSheep

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:12 PM

Interesting article PP!

#5 becstar101

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:18 PM

Is there a reason you're worried about his foreskin? Infection etc? If not, I'd leave it be, I think it's normal for a foreskin to not retract prior to puberty.


#6 item

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:43 PM

DS is 4 and we've been told not to worry (unless he gets infections) until at least 6, then bring it up with GP.


ETA fascinating article PP, thanks!

Edited by in(s)ane, 12 February 2013 - 08:57 PM.


#7 Kitty Fantastico

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:49 PM

My DS is only 2 so I don't know much about these things, but I've read in a few different places that it doesn't usually retract until closer to 8 or 9? I'm not sure if anyone can confirm this?

#8 B.feral3

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:51 PM

QUOTE (Kitty Fantastico @ 12/02/2013, 08:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My DS is only 2 so I don't know much about these things, but I've read in a few different places that it doesn't usually retract until closer to 8 or 9? I'm not sure if anyone can confirm this?


This linked article gives a good description of normal function and changes.


#9 Soontobegran

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:55 PM

Unless the fact that your son's foreskin is causing him medical problems then it is really is not unusual for a foreskin to be non retractable at age 5. The only surgeon I would contemplate seeing is a paediatric urologist who will give you an expert opinion on the necessity of circumcision.
Good luck.

#10 sir_mix-a-lot

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:59 PM

I know one man whose foreskin was unretractable until he was in his mid-twenties. That's long time to put up with the discomfort and the comments from sexual partners, but it did completely and spontaneously heal itself. He's now a doctor and a big advocate for avoiding surgery as long as possible.
As always, your mileage may vary.

#11 mollybot

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:59 PM

My eldest has a very "closed" foreskin. He'll be making a decision as to what treatment he requires (if any) after he's gone through puberty.

Its also possible to have a tiny slit made in the foreskin, rather than a full circumcision.


That linked article is fantastic. Bookmarked !

#12 squirt081

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:03 PM

I dont have any experience with this as my 2yrs foreskin was retrating at 5mths (a nurse did it to get a urine sample and she was very gentle, she didn't force at all) but I have heard that it can retract as late as pubity

Edited by squirt081, 12 February 2013 - 09:04 PM.


#13 unicorn

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:08 PM

QUOTE (squirt081 @ 12/02/2013, 10:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I dont have any experience with this as my 2yrs foreskin was retrating at 5mths (a nurse did it to get a urine sample and she was very gentle, she didn't force at all) but I have heard that it can retract as late as pubity


Why would she need to retract his foreskin to get a urine sample? I don't get t.

OP unless it is causing him problems I would leave it be. My eldest son was about 13 when his retracted.

Edited by Flibbertigibberty, 12 February 2013 - 09:09 PM.


#14 sad small umbrella

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

OP your son is very young and unless he is having repeated infections, it's OK to leave it be.

Our urologist is fine with doing nothing until my son asks for it or has repeated infections.  He's been monitoring him for nearly 10 years now.  He's all we'll do the surgery next time I am operating on something else and is completely relaxed.  The GP who referred us back in the day was ALL OMG MUST BE OPERATED ON STAT.

#15 Currywurst

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

We saw a GP recently for DS 4.5 as his would not retract at all and sometimes would be a bit red and sore. Although DS rarely complains about it we thought it best to get checked out.  We were pretty adamant that we wanted to avoid surgery as this was the GP's first suggestion.  We ended up going with the cream and after a few weeks its almost completely back. We let DS do this himself so we don't force it back ourselves as that can create scarring.


#16 No girls here

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:14 PM

I asked the GP about DS2 when he was around 5, and he told me not to worry about it until puberty.  He didn't give us the cream or anything.  Anyway, he's now just turned 7 and it's all fine.

#17 squirt081

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:15 PM

QUOTE
Why would she need to retract his foreskin to get a urine sample? I don't get t.


I dont know but she was inserting a catheter. It was  in Randwick Childrens Hospital so I guess they know what they are doing with something so simple.

Edited by squirt081, 12 February 2013 - 09:16 PM.


#18 sjacs

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:17 PM

My eldest is 8 in March and has the same issue.  We took him to a urologist around 5 years of age and were told to give it until around now to see if it would fix itself.  We have tried the steroid cream twice (but only for 7 days at a time). We have just gone back today for a new referral as it is pretty much the same.  His "opening" is very small like a pin prick, doesn't affect tolieting but he says it is very sensitive and he won't let anyone near it.  I have had a close read of that article posted by another user (a big thanks for that!), I'd really like to avoid the circumcision if at all possible so this will arm me with some new questions for the specialist.  Good luck with your boy and fingers crossed there is another option!

#19 snortle

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:23 PM

Wow that article impressed me.
My DS is 2 and I have had comments from my mum and MIL that I should be "doing something" about his f/s which I have ignored but this article has put into words the uneasiness I feel over interfering with his f/s when he seems perfectly happy and healthy!

I have bookmarked it and I think I will email the link to my mum.
Thankyou PP!

#20 LJandAJ

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:29 PM

My son is booked in for circimsion next month but I am still unsure about it. He used to be able to retract it and there was one bit still attached underneath. The Surgeon saw this and told us to leave it for 6 months and see how it is. We left it for 10 months and went back as now he cant retract it at all. That was 5 months ago now.

He often gets really red and inflammed, which lasts for up to 24 hours and causes him a lot of pain. This is the main reason we want it done but I am really worried about recovery time or if he will have scarring and make it harder to be done.

Does anyone k ow if it is normal for it to re attach?


#21 sarkazm76

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:35 PM

That Dr Momma website has some excellent info on normal functioning foreskin and circumcision.  Also Saving Our Sons has loads of resources if you want to find out all you need to know.

Catheter does not = retraction required.  The above websites have info about how to collect urine samples/ insert catheter without retraction.

Foreskin not separating until puberty is perfectly normal.  Never EVER ever forecably retract the foreskin!  If all is well jsut leave it alone and let it separate when it's ready!  If there is an issue ask for a referral to a Paedeatric Urologist - dont' just listen to your GP or some surgeon.  See the right specialist.  If the first suggestion is circumcision and you're not keen then see someone else.





#22 sarkazm76

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:41 PM

QUOTE (LJandAJ @ 12/02/2013, 09:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My son is booked in for circimsion next month but I am still unsure about it. He used to be able to retract it and there was one bit still attached underneath. The Surgeon saw this and told us to leave it for 6 months and see how it is. We left it for 10 months and went back as now he cant retract it at all. That was 5 months ago now.

He often gets really red and inflammed, which lasts for up to 24 hours and causes him a lot of pain. This is the main reason we want it done but I am really worried about recovery time or if he will have scarring and make it harder to be done.

Does anyone k ow if it is normal for it to re attach?


My understanding is that yes that can happen but I've mostly read about it being related to forced retraction.  Where this has been the cause of separation - so newborn circ requires forced retraction of the foreskin well and truly a long long time before it's ready, for example - even after circ the foreskin can continue to regraft to the glans, requiring more procedures to "correct".  I'm not sure if same can be said for your son's situation.  Please try Saving Our Sons on Facebook and post your question there and you will receive a wealth of info I'm sure.


#23 B.feral3

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:45 PM

QUOTE (LJandAJ @ 12/02/2013, 09:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My son is booked in for circimsion next month but I am still unsure about it. He used to be able to retract it and there was one bit still attached underneath. The Surgeon saw this and told us to leave it for 6 months and see how it is. We left it for 10 months and went back as now he cant retract it at all. That was 5 months ago now.

He often gets really red and inflammed, which lasts for up to 24 hours and causes him a lot of pain. This is the main reason we want it done but I am really worried about recovery time or if he will have scarring and make it harder to be done.

Does anyone k ow if it is normal for it to re attach?


If there has been a lot of messing around with it PP, forced retractions and whatnot, then maybe it has re-adhered with scar tissue. This is why well meaning parents should never forceably retract as it creates little tears and those tears can reattach with scar tissue which then require medical attention.

I'm not saying this is what happened in your case, I have no idea. But is one reason that re-adhesion can occur. Good luck.

Edited by Bek+3, 12 February 2013 - 09:46 PM.


#24 LJandAJ

Posted 12 February 2013 - 09:47 PM

The stupid Student Dr retracted his when he was 4 weeks old, probably caused all of his problems sad.gif

Besides that it hasnt be forced at all. He used to pull it back a little to wash it but cant any more

#25 bluedragon

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:00 PM

If it was my son (DS is only 20 months at the moment) and he had no other medical issues then I would be leaving it well alone.

It is normal for it not to retract until puberty.

DHs didn't retract until around 12-13, basically until puberty hit and he started masterbating. He never had any issues with infection or any other issues. He said it was a little uncomfortable while it was getting to the point of being able to retract but nothing he worried about.

A 5 year old has no need for a retractable foreskin, it makes biological sense it is something that happens in puberty. Obviously there is a large range of ages that this can occur but I think 5 is way too young to start looking at surgical options when it is perfectly within normal range to not happen until 12 or older.




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