A 14-year-old immigrant from the former Soviet Union with a rare blood disease recently underwent a brit milah by laser surgery. It is believed to be the first such ritual circumcision performed anywhere.
The procedure was performed after lengthy consultations between doctors and rabbis, and was designed to avoid the risk of hemorrhaging.
Alexander Wolk, the patient, spent only 45 minutes in the operating theater and was discharged from the hospital within a day.
The brit was performed at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.
“I fired the laser beam with minute accuracy,” Dr. Shlomo Wallfish told reporters. “It caused hardly any bleeding but caused enough to satisfy the halachic requirement.”
Wolk himself said he felt hardly any pain when, he emerged from the anaesthetic.
Wallfish heads the colo-rectal surgery department at Soroka, the most advanced such unit in Israel in the use of laser surgery. He said the advantages of using a laser for such surgery for adult brit milah include: low-cost treatment and hospitalization, simplicity of procedure, minimal damage to surrounding tissue and speedy recovery.
Wolk, who immigrated with his family in 1990, applied for a brit following strong encouragement from his 73-year-old grandmother, Ittke, who came to Israel together with the family. But doctors discerned a rare blood disease in him that prevents normal coagulation.