Pediatrics group revises position on circumcision - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Pediatrics group revises position on circumcision

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

A big policy change for the American Academy of Pediatricians-- the nation's providers of health care for kids now say the benefits of circumcision clearly outweigh the risks.

The surgical procedure usually performed on male infants in the first few days of life has long been controversial.  In the past, the Academy has said there may be health benefits, but now, because of extensive new studies, the group says there are definitely benefits, including a reduced risk of urinary tract infections and some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and HPV.

The group says it is still up to parents to decide. Some opt out for cultural and religious reasons, but pediatricians say circumcisions should be done under sterile conditions with analgesics, and they should also be covered by insurance, including Medicaid.

"Many insurance companies do not cover it, Medicaid often doesn't cover it. So what happens is it becomes a financial issue for parents. And so the American Academy of Pediatrics wants parents to make the decision based on medical, cultural, ethnic, personal issues, not based on a fiduciary issue," said Dr. Bill Raszka, a pediatrician at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

Raszka is the associate editor of the Academy's medical journal Pediatrics. This is the first time in 13 years the American Academy of Pediatrics has revised its policy on circumcision.

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