Dokumentierte ernste Komplikationen bei Beschneidung

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This article documents severe complications of circumcision reported in news media. While many of our pages are concerned with non-therapeutic medical circumcision, this page will include non-therapeutic medical, religious and cultural circumcisions. The article does in no way claim to offering a complete oversight of cases.

The purpose of grouping these cases together is to give an idea of the frequency and severity of cases, rather than focus on the specifics and details of each individual case.

People often argue that circumcision, as any other surgery, implies a certain level of surgical risk. However, it must be acknowledged that circumcision is in principle an elective surgery (even though the patient most of the times does not get to elect it - being instead FORCED by proxy consent). This means that these operations didn't have the purpose of treating an existing condition and were not essential to the well-being of the children, so the damage caused by the procedures could have been prevented by leaving their genitals intact.


What the AAP says

On August 27th of 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) presented a new Policy Statement on Circumcision and Technical Report stating that "the benefits outweigh the risks", yet when it comes to severe complications like the ones presented here, the technical report states that "Financial costs of care, emotional tolls, or the need for future corrective surgery (with the attendant anesthetic risks, family stress, and expense) are unknown".[1]

The 2012 AAP statement expired in 2017 and has not been reaffirmed.


"[S]ome of the serious complications that can occur during the procedure include death from excess bleeding and amputation of the glans penis. Postoperative complications include the formation of skin bridges between the shaft and the glans, infection, urinary retention (this has caused deaths), meatal ulcer, impetigo, fistulas, loss of penile sensitivity, sexual dysfunction and oedema of the glans." They also acknowledge that the frequency of complications is "underestimated because events occurring after the discharge are not captured [in the discharge sheet]" and sometimes are treated at a different hospital.[2]

Royal Dutch Medical Association

The Royal Dutch Medical Association states: "There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/therapeutic grounds."

"Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications."

"There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed."[3]


An estimated number of complications is calculated in this page.

Deaths from circumcision

The page Fatalities documents recorded deaths as a result of complications from a circumcision surgery.

Loss of sensitivity

A common and not often reported issue of circumcision is the loss of sensitivity, whether in the short or long term. A new page will be added shortly to discuss this complication.

Lawsuit Settlements

Over $80 Million in Settlements Over Botched Circumcisions in Last 40 Years. Attorneys for the Rights of the Child has published a list of cases over botched circumcisions that have resulted in disclosed settlements. Privately arranged settlements and sealed settlements are both highly unlikely to appear in the list. Accordingly, this list grossly underestimates the number of successful circumcision-related lawsuits and the cost of male circumcision. See List of Legal Victories Proving Harm Caused by Circumcision


South Africa lawsuit over botched circumcision

The boy, of nine years of age, was circumcised 5 years ago, in Barberton Hospital in Barberton, South Africa. The glans was amputated. The intern who performed the procedure reattached the glans, but five days later it separated again. A new procedure was performed to attach it one more time, and it failed again. According to his mother, the boy to this day feels pain when he urinates, and the doctor told her he will need to undergo further medical treatments in order to be able to have sex in the future, and may have some sexual dysfunction related to decreased sensation and inability to reach orgasm due to the amputation of the glans according to an urologist. There may also be resulting psycho-social problems as a consequence of the amputation, related to low self-esteem.[4]

Baby loses consciousness after circumcision, dies a week later

On May 30th, a baby became unconscious during a circumcision ceremony in Israel. Paramedics found the baby was not breathing and had no pulse. They performed resuscitation techniques and took the baby to the hospital in critical condition. The baby died on June 7th. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel attributes the death to a "previously existing medical condition". According to Jewish Press, "After investigating the circumstances of the case, it was discovered that the circumcision had actually been performed flawlessly, and apparently baby choked during feeding".[5][6]

Child loses 20% of his glans during circumcision in Morocco

We don't have extensive information on this case, but there is dramatic and graphic video and a brief description from the parents. The child (Mohamed Hashem) is 3 years old. Warning, graphic

Child's penis cut off in circumcision feast, family claims two million TL compensation

The family of a 3-year-old child whose penis was cut off during a collective circumcision feast in the southeastern province of Batman, Turkey has demanded 2 million Turkish Liras in compensation from the Ministry of Health by applying to the Council of State.[7]

1.3 Million Dollar Settlement on Botched Circumcision

A Cook County jury on Tuesday returned a verdict of $1,357,901.12 on behalf of a 5-year-old boy who suffered a partial amputation of the tip of his penis during a circumcision procedure performed when he was 12-hours-old.

The child was born October 4, 2007 at Northwestern's Prentice Women's Hospital. The following morning, while performing a circumcision on the child, a portion of the distal tip of Burden's penis was inadvertently amputated. The child was rushed to Children's Memorial Hospital where Pediatric Urologist Antonio Chaviano, M.D. successfully re-attached it.

Attorneys Timothy S. Tomasik and Daniel M. Kotin, of Tomasik Kotin Kasserman LLC, represented the plaintiff. According to Kotin, "The defendants claimed that this was a known complication which could happen during a circumcision. But the truth is, it is the oldest surgical procedure known to man and the most common one performed on baby boys in America. If this was truly a known risk, then nobody would dare have a circumcision."[8]

Two babies contract herpes in NYC from circumcision ritual

Two New York City Jewish newborns contracted herpes in three from oral suctioning (Metzitzah b'Peh) conducted during ritual circumcision (Bris Milah), according to New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In January 2013, New York’s health department began mandating parents of infants about to undergo ritual Jewish circumcision to sign a consent form permitting mohels to use the oral method, known as metzitzah b’peh. In the recent case of herpes contraction, the parents did not sign that form, The Forward reported. The infant survived, but it is not yet clear whether he sustained any long-term damage.[9]


7-year-old loses genitals after circumcision, fighting for life

Nov 23, 2012. The Times of India reported that a 7 year old child was fighting for his life after complications from circumcision. The boy, Imran, was admitted to Sania hospital in Alwar town on November 10 for circumcision. According to sources, after the operation, some equipment was used to prevent bleeding. However, electric current accidentally passed into his private parts and the boy suffered serious injury. On November 13, the boy was referred to a private hospital in Jaipur. After investigating the case, the doctors in Jaipur advised the boy's relatives to remove his genitals as it was necessary to save his life. The operation was conducted and his genitals were removed. Three days after the operation, the boy was again admitted to Sania hospital in Alwar.

Imran's grandfather Ayub Khan said: "The circumcision was carried out by Dr Tayyab Khan, a physician at Sania Hospital. He is not a surgeon. The licence of the hospital should be cancelled for carelessness."[10]

Child lapsed into coma after circumcision

Saudi Arabia, August 02, 2012. Father of child who lapsed into coma after circumcision procedure demands probe. After investigations, doctors found that the child had a severe lung infection caused by the anesthesia. He was hooked to a mechanical ventilator and given antibiotics. The next day, the ICU doctor called the father and told him that Muhammad’s condition had deteriorated further and he suffered from a collapsed lung. Doctors operated on the child to stabilize his condition.[11]

Twin boys' genitals amputated after circumcision

Irak, 14 August 2012. Twin Boys Genitals Amputated After Circumcision. Two three-year-old twin brothers have had their genitals amputated after a circumcision operation went horribly wrong in Khanaqin. Khanaqin hospital media official Arian Qader said: "Unfortunately an unwanted incident occurred while circumcising the two boys. After the operation went wrong, their penises were amputated. Now they urinate using plastic tubes".[12]

Baby hospitalized after botched circumcision

Israel, June 1st 2012. Muslim Baby Hospitalized After Botched Circumcision. The infant’s Muslim parents brought their child to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa after the ritual circumciser accidentally dismembered the child’s penis. Urologists and surgeons worked to reattach the detached organ and said they expect the procedure to be successful.[13]

Babies contracting herpes from religious circumcision in NY

New York City and federal health authorities issued a public advisory Thursday cautioning against the sucking practice because it has been linked to 11 infants becoming infected with the herpes simplex virus type 1 since 2000. Ten of the infected newborns were hospitalized, two developed brain damage and two died, the health officials said.

A newborn can become infected when the adult performing the circumcision places his mouth on the circumcision wound to siphon blood away from the cut. The ritual is only embraced by a handful of sects within the Orthodox Jewish community, according to New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.[14]


Boy pleaded to "just cut it off and (he) can be a girl,"

Texas, March 2011. A doctor botched a circumcision of a 4-year-old Texas boy so badly that the boy pleaded to "just cut it off and (he) can be a girl," the parents claim in court. After excessive bleeding, the doctor overcauterized the child's penis, causing fistulas (additional openings) that oozed blood and hurt every time that the child urinated.[15]

Man's penis amputated after botched circumcision

A 21-year-old man in Tianjin has had his penis cut off after what appears to be a botched circumcision procedure just two weeks before his wedding ceremony - November 11, 2011.[16]


The case that would spark the debate in Cologne, Germany in 2012

A 4 year old boy was circumcised at the mother's request. There was some persistent bleeding. The four-year-old was admitted to a children's emergency room two days after his circumcision with bleeding. So reports the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper", citing a doctor's letter about the treatment that was then carried out. Apparently a "urological surgical revision" of the circumcision "under general anesthesia" followed. After the surgical intervention the boy was for several days came to a children's ward, it says in the report. Three dressing changes had taken place "under anesthesia". In the doctor's letter also states that the exposed surface and the glans penis was "uneven, eroded, and fibrinous occupied". The boy was ten days in clinical treatment.[17]

In 2012 this case lead to a court in Cologne calling to ban non-therapeutic circumcision of minors, which was met with outrage by Jewish and Muslim leaders and some American Christian conservatives. The German government promised to present a new law in autumn to normalize the practice of circumcision[18]. The issue is still being debated, with a draft of the law ready to be presented, and some politicians advocating for a ban for circumcision of minors under the age of 14.


New Zealand boy has penile artery severed during circumcision

A BOTCHED circumcision of a four-year-old boy that resulted in the severing of a penis artery has landed a doctor in trouble. The boy was sent to hospital to stem the "uncontrollable bleeding" after the procedure by a GP, who was assisted by an unqualified doctor and his wife.[19]

Circumcision ceremony in Australia goes horribly wrong

THREE teenage Aboriginal boys turned up in the grounds of the bush hospital on December 30. They stood outside with blood pouring down their legs. They had just been through a circumcision ceremony in a camp outside Tennant Creek, 500km north of Alice Springs. It had gone badly wrong. The boys, who had received no anesthetic, were left mutilated by elders who it is suspected were drinking when they performed the initiation ritual.

The boys were under the age of 16. There are concerns as well that young men are being snatched by elders and forced to go through the procedure against their will.[20]


Couple sues Miami doctor over botched circumcision

A husband and wife are suing their Miami doctor over a botched circumcision that left their infant son with a "unsightly... and permanently scarred" penis. The doctor "failed to align the foreskin on the bell of the GOMCO clamp before engaging the nut on the base plate, closing the clamp, and excising the foreskin, resulting in leaving too much foreskin on the ventral side of the penis." C.L.'s lawyers say that the boy, now three and a half years old, will likely need counseling to overcome the lasting trauma from the operation gone wrong.[21]


Amputation of the glans with Mogen clamp

A baby was circumcised in Illinois in February 15, 2007 using a Mogen clamp. At the completion of the circumcision, hospital records indicated there was significant bleeding. Inspection of the penis revealed nearly all of the glans had been amputated at the time of the circumcision. Three months later, the infant required penile skin transfer surgery at the University of Illinois, with need for future procedures, some of which are only appropriate at the age of puberty.[22]


Botched adult circumcision leads to suicide

Beasley Allen Terrebonne (48 years old) committed suicide 3 years after undergoing adult circumcision.[23]


Mohel cuts part of the glans of a baby and tries to hide his error

Daniel J. Krimsky performed a bris with a Mogen clamp in which he amputated part of the glans of the baby and tried to hide his error, which was uncovered by a physician present in the event. The baby was rushed to the ER but an attempt to reattach the tissue was not successful.[24]

Doctor amputates part of the glans of a baby

Haiba Sonyika performed a circumcision with a Mogen clamp in which she amputated part of the glans of the baby. The tissue was not properly handled and priority was not given, so reattachment was not possible. The baby was diagnosed with significant circumcision injury resulting in an iatrogenic hypospadias, a physician-caused condition where the urinary opening is on the underside of the penis. The boy and his family would need significant psychiatric counseling at various stages of his life in order to avoid a bad psychological outcome.[25]


Los Angeles: The doctor cut off most of the tip of her son's penis

A baby was taken for circumcision to a Los Angeles clinic in 2003. The doctor had no medical malpractice insurance. The circumcision was performed with a Mogen clamp, resulting in the amputation of most of the glans. By 2011 the boy has had two reconstructive surgeries, and doctors predict he will need at least two more while in his teens and 20s to repair the physical damage. Then will come plastic surgery.[26] The lawsuit resulted in a settlement with Miltex Inc, for $4.6 million.[27]



Partial amputation of glans and iatrogenic hypospadias

Dr. Tam, a pediatrician, amputated approximately 30% of the distal glans {*filter*} and transected the glandular urethra. A less than successful attempt was made to reattach that which had been excised. Subsequent plastic surgery has been attempted and there is resultant deformity at the tip of the {*filter*}. Function has not been impaired though a condition known as acquired "Hypospedias: has developed. This is a defect where the urethra, though extending through the {*filter*}, exists on the underside rather than at the tip. The Plaintiff has undergone 4 corrective surgeries and requires at least one further surgery at this time.[29]


Recovery from a botched circumcision

Skin bridges are a common post-operative complication from circumcisions. In a blog, the author shares how during puberty he became aware of a skin bridge causing problems and making erections painful, and how he dealt with this problem.

$1.2 Million: Another botched circumcision

A 3 year old son of Russian immigrants was circumcised in Brooklyn in 1990. The clinic, a doctor and the rabbi who performed the operation were being sued for causing "permanent shortening and disfigurement of the penis." During the trial, experts testified that the mutilation would make sexual intercourse difficult when the boy reaches maturity.[30]


Brain damage


On January 17, 1986, Jacob was circumcised by James Nesbitt, M.D. of The Children's Clinic. On Saturday, January 25, Jacob's parents, Gary and Beverly Sweet, brought Jacob back to the emergency room at Providence because he was vomiting and fussy and the circumcision site was red and swollen. They were met by Daniel Tulip, M.D., also of The Children's Clinic. Dr. Tulip admitted Jacob to the hospital. Late in the evening of January 26, Jacob suffered a prolonged seizure or "crash" and was transferred to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit at 2:15 a.m. on Monday, January 27.

Jacob suffered severe brain damage. He cannot walk, talk or care for himself in any respect. Significant and important portions of Jacob's Providence Hospital medical records for the 26-hour period from the time he was admitted until the "crash" are missing.[31]

A lawsuit was finally settled in 2000.[32]


Electrocautery device causes penile amputations

According to lawsuits filed in behalf of the two children, the infants suffered severe electrical burns to the penis and adjacent areas when physicians, in separate incidents on the same day, used an electric cauterizing needle as part of the circumcision procedure. The burns to one of the infants were so severe that his penis was destroyed. A sex change operation has been performed so that the child will be raised as a female...[33]


Botched circumcision shortly after birth left him mutilated. Committed suicide at 28

Brian brandt.jpg

Brian Mathew Brandt, born on October 7th, 1983. Victim of a botched circumcision shortly after birth. He felt that he was mutilated and could never have sexual relations.

On November 2, 2011, Brian passed away in his home. He took his own life at 28 years.[34]


Botched circumcision leads to suicide attempt

An Australian boy was circumcised leaving too little skin for normal erections. During puberty he realized the pain caused by this complications. At 18 he had surgery to try to alleviate this problem, but the results were not satisfactory. Six months later he tried to commit suicide. Since then, he has shared his story on this page.


Worst case scenario: Amputated, raised as a girl, reassigned as a boy during puberty, committed suicide

David reimer2.jpg

David Reimer, lost his penis during circumcision at 4 months. Raised as a girl. His testicles were removed and he was put in hormones. Renamed and taught to be a girl but he never adjusted. In puberty he was told the truth, underwent breast reduction, reconstruction of the penis. Got married. Never felt complete. Committed suicide in 2004 at 39 years.[35]

David reimer1.jpg



  1. REFjournal Male Circumcision - Technical Report. Pediatrics. 27. August 2012; 130(3): e775.
    Zitat: Financial costs of care, emotional tolls, or the need for future corrective surgery (with the attendant anesthetic risks, family stress, and expense) are unknown.
  2. REFweb Weiss, Helen (2010). Neonatal and child male circumcision: a global review, UNAIDS. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  3. REFweb (2010). Viewpoint about non-therapeutic circumcision of minors, KNMG. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  4. REFweb (7. Juni 2013). R10m lawsuit over botched circumcision, iol News. Abgerufen 9. Juni 2013.
  5. REFweb (7. Juni 2013). Baby Dies in Israeli Hospital following Circumcision, Jewish Press. Abgerufen 3. September 2019.
  6. REFweb (30. Mai 2013). Baby in critical condition after circumcision, Times of Israel. Abgerufen 7. Juni 2013.
  7. REFweb (6. Januar 2013). Child's penis cut off in circumcision feast, family claims two million TL compensation, Hurriyet Daily News. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  8. REFweb (29. Mai 2013). Seven-Figure Verdict in "Botched" Circumcision Case, Wall Street Journal. Abgerufen 7. Juni 2013.
  9. REFweb (5. April 2013). NYC baby gets herpes from circumcision ritual, Jerusalem Post. Abgerufen 7. Juni 2013.
  10. REFweb Sharma, Rajendra (23. November 2012). 7-year-old loses genitals after circumcision, fighting for life, Times of India. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  11. REFweb (2. August 2012). Father of child who lapsed into coma after circumcision procedure demands probe, Saudi Gazette. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  12. REFweb Mohammed, Bryar (14. August 2012). Twin boys' genitals amputated after circumcision op goes wrong, Iraq Updates. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  13. REFweb Zion, Ilan Ben (1. Juni 2012). Baby hospitalized after botched circumcision, Times of Israel. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  14. REFweb (8. Juni 2012). 11 New York infants infected with herpes through ritual in Jewish circumcision, Fox News. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  15. REFweb De la Garza, Erik (9. November 2012). Circumcision Goes Horribly Wrong, Courthouse NewsTimes of Israel. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  16. REFweb (10. Mai 2012). Man's penis amputated after botched circumcision, Shangai ist. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  17. REFweb (14. Juli 2012). Vierjähriges Kind musste nach Beschneidung in die Notaufnahme..., Focus. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
    Zitat: Penis war „uneben“ und „zerfressen“
  18. REFweb (25. Juli 2012). Where Human Rights Collide - Circumcision Debate Has Berlin Searching for Answers, Spiegel Online. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  19. REFweb (8. Dezember 2009). Botched circumcision puts boy in hospital, Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  20. REFweb Toohey, Paul (11. Januar 2010). Circumcision ceremony goes horribly wrong, NT News. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  21. REFweb Miller, Mike (23. Mai 2012). Couple sues Miami doctor over botched circumcision, Miami New Times. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  22. REFweb Barad, Justin (13. November 2006). Ouch! Botched Circumcision, med Gadget. Abgerufen 18. Juli 2007.
  23. REFweb DeSantis, John (25. Dezember 2008). Man found dead near Nicholls campus, Houma Today. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  24. REFweb (13. November 2006). Oy! Did You Hear the One About the Overzealous Mohel?, New York News and Features. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  25. REFweb [[Dan Bollinger|Bollinger, Dan]] (29. März 2009). Atlanta attorneys celebrate botched circumcision verdict for mother and son, International Coalition for Genital Integrity. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  26. REFweb Hennessy-Fiske, Molly (26. September 2011). Injuries linked to circumcision clamps, L.A. Times. Abgerufen 15. Januar 2013.
  27. REFweb Cassens Weiss, Debra (19. Juli 2011). Judge to Confirm $4.6M Settlement for Botched Circumcision, ABA Journal. Abgerufen 15. Januar 2013.
  28. REFweb Bollinger, Dan (29. März 2009). Atlanta attorneys celebrate botched circumcision verdict for mother and son, International Coalition for Genital Integrity. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  29. REFweb (Januar 1995). Medical Malpractice: Circumcision, 3 Dec. 1994, CIN Circumcision Information Network. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  30. REFweb (1995). $1.2 Million: Another Botched Circumcision, CIN Circumcision Information Network. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  31. REFweb (6. August 1995). Jacob Sweet Story, Archived at, Anchorage Daily News. Abgerufen 21. Januar 2013.
  32. REFweb (8. März 2000). Betrayed by Doctors and Lawyers in Alaska, Sweets Find Justice Through Seattle Malpractice Attorney, PRNewswire. Abgerufen 21. Januar 2013.
  33. REFweb (1985). A circumcision method draws new concern, NYTimes. Abgerufen 21. Januar 2013.
  34. REFweb (2012). Letters to Editor, NOCIRC. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.
  35. REFweb David Reimer, Wikipedia. Abgerufen 23. November 2012.