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Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Post Our Son Will Hate

About 12 weeks into my pregnancy with Alex, we found out that we were having a baby boy. We would not have to decide if we wanted ear piercing at birth (a service that we declined with Gretchen), but we were faced with a new, more masculine decision to make...

Jon and I always knew that if we had a boy, we would go the circumcision route. There are a number of reasons that we made this choice - none of which I will bore you with now. This post is not about why or why not to circumcise, it is about how to do it in Buenos Aires if you choose to snip.

We took it for granted that hospitals in the US perform this procedure automatically, because in the majority of the rest of the world circumcision is not a common request. Argentina falls into this category - outside of religious reasons - there isn't a clear cut way of going about booking this procedure. No pun intended.

Asked my pediatrician and my OB for recommendations, and they both recommended Dr. Raul Korman (Recoleta, Azcuenaga 1517 Piso 1C, 4805-1681). He is a local pediatrician that, from what we can gather, performs circumcisions for foreigners on the side. He takes some local insurances, though unfortunately for us, he did not accept ours. I went in for a consultation appointment with Dr. Korman when I was 35 weeks pregnant, just in case our little man arrived early, and was instructed to call him when the baby was born and we would make an appointment for the surgery. The consultation took all of 10 minutes (after he described that he uses the same method used in the US I didn't have a whole lot of follow up questions) and cost $300 pesos. He also explained that there is not a hospital in the city that will allow him to perform the procedure on their property, so we needed to bring our baby to his office as soon as we were comfortable with after his birth - assuming the birth is healthy and recovery is normal.

It was our hope to have the procedure done as soon as possible after birth, so I called Dr. Korman the day we were released from the hospital - and his wife answered the phone. She told me to call his office. I did. His secretary told me that I needed to come in for a consultation, I explained that I already had. She told me that there was no way to make an appointment for the procedure until we brought Alex in for a "review" with the doctor. So I made an appointment later in the week, when Alex was 6 days old. I should have known better. I should have insisted on talking to the doctor. I have lived in Argentina for four years - I really should have learned my lesson by now.

Anyways, we loaded up the car for our first family outing and went to Dr. Korman's office. His secretary took my information, and told me that it would be $300 pesos for a consultation. Woah, woah, I say, I've already done this - paid my consultation fee for this procedure, I'm not doing it again. She sensed my post-birth irrational emotional state and said that she would check with the doctor before charging us. Needless to say, Dr. Korman starts our consultation with "You really should have called first", to which I explained that I had, both to his home and the office. His response was, basically, Oops, sorry about that, let's go ahead and book the procedure. So we booked for the following week, left without being charged, and I was kicking myself for the rest of the night for the wasted trip.

All this to say, if you plan on circumcising your son, there is only one consultation necessary - don't do what we did.

We went back for a morning appointment when Alex was 13 days old, the procedure was quick and easy (hopefully painless, or at least he will not remember it...), we paid the doctor $4,000 pesos and headed home for the day. We were given a prescription for antibiotic cream and instructions not to bath Alex for 5 days.

Outside of the wasted trip, this was not an overly laborious process. The only complication that I ran into was that no doctor would write me a prescription for the procedure (since it is elective) therefore, our local insurance will not cover it. I am happy to report that Alex is completely healed, and we are pleased with the results. I will spare him the addition of any photographs related to this post, but here is a new shot of our precious little boy just being cute:

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