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August 1988

Mechanical Complications of Circumcision With a Gomco Clamp

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(8):813-814. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150080019008

Sir.—Circumcision is still a frequently performed operation in the United States and continues to remain a controversial subject. In a recent ten-year study of infants born in all US Army hospitals (January 1975 to December 1984), there was a steady decrease in frequency of circumcision from 85% in the first four years down to 70.5% in the last year of the study.1

The overall significant complication rate in a study of 5521 circumcised male infants from 1963 to 1972 was 0.2%. The more common complications of circumcision discussed in the medical literature are hemorrhage, infection, circumcision of unrecognized hypospadias, dehiscence, denudation of the penile shaft, urinary retention, and laceration of the glans. Other complications recorded include a slough of the penis following use of the Gomco clamp (Allied Health Care Products, St Louis, Mo) in conjunction with electrocautery,2 necrotizing fascitis,3 urinary retention from too tight a