Do medical doctors use better equipment or techniques for circumcision?
Parents who choose to have their sons circumcised must decide who should perform the circumcision. Familiarity with the customary religious ceremony makes the traditional Mohel the choice of many families, but parents are still concerned about getting the best care for their newborn and minimizing his discomfort.
The New York Times and Connecticut Post reported in August, 1997 that Mohelim "inflict less pain on their newborn subjects than most doctors do". The article explains that different tools are used by the medical doctor and the Mohel. The clamp used by Mohelim was found to be much quicker to use and less painful that the one used by most doctors. The report quotes a study involving 48 newborn boys in Hartford by Dr. Hema N. DeSilva, director of neonatology at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. Babies circumcised with the Mogen clamp used by Mohelim suffered less stress, showing only half the heart rate increase and total crying time of infants circumcised with a Gomco, the choice of most physicians. Oxygen levels were higher in the Mogen infants as well. Circumcision typically takes 20 to 30 seconds when a Mohel is using the Mogen clamp. A doctor using the Gomco clamp averaged 3 1/2 minutes for the procedure in the study.
A Mohel is used to handling the circumcision in front of a crowd and is a specialist in the procedure. Doctors usually use different tools and techniques for circumcision than a Mohel would, but in my own opinion and that of many parents the shorter time and lower stress level are key advantages in choosing a Mohel to perform the circumcision.