Israeli baby requires complex surgery after circumcision gone wrong

The baby required long and complex surgery performed by three surgeons to treat the circumcision damage, but it is unclear if it was successful.

A ‘MOHEL’ holds a scalpel as he performs a circumcision (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
A ‘MOHEL’ holds a scalpel as he performs a circumcision
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)

A baby was rushed to the hospital in northern Israel on Monday after his circumcision went wrong, with his genitals being almost completely amputated during a brit mila - a Jewish ritual circumcision, Israeli media reported. The mohel was late found to be uncertified and did not undergo required training.

The baby was rushed to Haifa's Rambam Health Care Campus immediately after his brit mila, which caused a severe cut in his genitalia. The treatment required three surgeons to perform a long and incredibly complicated operation. 

According to Dr. Akram Asadi, he had never seen such a severe injury due to circumcision in his 20 years as a surgeon.

"We don't know exactly how it happened, but the baby is suffering from an almost complete amputation of his genitals. This is a shocking case and the injury is very serious."

Dr. Akam Asadi, Rambam Health Care Campus

"We don't know exactly how it happened, but the baby is suffering from an almost complete amputation of his genitals," Asadi told N12. "This is a shocking case and the injury is very serious."

Despite this, the injury wasn't life-threatening and the baby is in stable condition.

Currently, it is too early to say if the surgery was successful, however permanent damage is expected, Israeli media reported.

A man prepares the items needed for a circumcision. (credit: REUTERS)A man prepares the items needed for a circumcision. (credit: REUTERS)
Brit mila: What is Jewish circumcision?

Circumcision is one of the most important rituals in Judaism, where all male babies must have their foreskin removed eight days after their birth by a mohel.

This has long been a traditional practice that differentiated Jews from other peoples throughout history. 

According to Ynet, the mohel in this case was uncertified, and is being investigated by a Chief Rabbinate and Health Ministry inter-office committee, which is responsible for supervising and certifying mohels.

Israeli media reported that the baby's family knew this mohel, who also circumcised their eldest son. But these accidents can still occur, especially if the mohel wasn't well-trained.

"Circumcision is a surgical operation that requires skill and training," Asadi told N12. "Unfortunately, we come across cases where it is clear that there was negligence in the mohel's training. Anyone who performs circumcision must undergo full training and fully understand anatomy."

The committee reminded parents to only use certified mohels for circumcisions.