April 1964


Author Affiliations

610 Tenth St Alexandria, Va 22307

Am J Dis Child. 1964;107(4):431. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02080060433018

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To the Editor: Dr. C. J. Falliers (106:637) wonders, like many others, why circumcision has been so generally accepted here as routine procedure. I should like to give you my impression.

When I came to the United States in 1941 I had practiced for 18 years as a pediatrician in Germany and Iran. When I started out in private practice there were still a few older physicians who dilated the foreskins of uncircumcised babies. But all the younger doctors, like me, had been taught in medical school that such dilatation was harmful and unneeded, that the foreskin of the newborn always looked tight but that by the age of one year it showed normal retractability in nearly 100% of the cases; that immersing the baby in warm water was enough to clean the smegma under the foreskin and retracting the foreskin should not even be tried until the age of

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