Circumcision gone wrong: Indonesian boy’s penis glans cut off in botched surgery carried out by retired nurse

Illustration, obviously, because the real thing would be too horrific. Photo: Flickr
Illustration, obviously, because the real thing would be too horrific. Photo: Flickr

In a story that will cause men everywhere to clench their nether regions, an Indonesian boy has reportedly fallen victim to a reported botched circumcision — locally known as sunat — leading to the loss of an instrumental part of his genitalia.

Last Thursday, a boy identified by his initial B, whose age wasn’t disclosed, was scheduled to go through the religious rite of passage that most boys in Muslim-majority Indonesia must face.

A mantri (a term for those who perform circumcisions and other medical procedures outside of medical practice) was called to perform the procedure at the boy’s home in Pekalongan Regency, Central Java. However, he reportedly cut off more than just the boy’s foreskin, severing his penis glans as well, reportedly to the boy’s screaming agony.

The child’s family then took him to the hospital immediately afterwards to stop the bleeding, but doctors weren’t able to reattach his penis glans.

The police are currently investigating the case for possible medical malpractice.

“It’s still being handled by the UPPA (Women and Child Protection Services). We are still looking into this and no suspects have been named,” Pekalongan Regency Police Chief Wawan Kurniawan told reporters yesterday, as quoted by Detik.

Police are investigating the mantri, who was identified as a 68-year-old retired male nurse with the initial B. In rural Indonesia, many families turn to unlicensed mantri to perform circumcisions in order to cut costs.

The police noted that B used a “laser” cutting technique to circumcise the boy, which doesn’t literally involve a laser, but instead utilizes an electrical surgery tool that runs alternating electrical current runs through a thin metal rod to cut the tissue while cauterizing it at the same time, minimizing risk of infection (imagine Darth Vader cutting off Luke Skywalker’s hand with a lightsaber and apply that technique to cutting the foreskin off a penis).

B’s surgical tools have been confiscated by the police.

Most Indonesian boys, especially Muslims, remember their circumcisions because they are often carried out when they are around five years old or before the onset of puberty. Many remember the operation with a certain fondness, since circumcisions are traditionally a rite of passage into manhood rewarded with parties and presents. It’s safe to say the boy in this case won’t have good memories of his circumcision as police say he’s recovering physically but “traumatized” by the incident.


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