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US Doctors Back Circumcision 1264

ananyo writes "On 27 August, a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics concludes for the first time that, overall, boys will be healthier if circumcised. The report says that although the choice is ultimately up to parents, medical insurance should pay for the procedure. The recommendation, coming from such an influential body, could boost U.S. circumcision rates, which, at 55%, are already higher than much of the developed world. The researchers estimate that each circumcision that is not performed costs the U.S. health-care system $313."
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US Doctors Back Circumcision

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:42PM (#41158087)

    The US has a health care system? This is news to me.

  • I call BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by csb ( 23046 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:43PM (#41158089)

    We were made this way for very good reasons, even if we don't understand them.
    Imagine if somebody proposed the same thing for female infants. What would be the reaction?
    Leave all minors alone. Let them decide when they turn 18.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:47PM (#41158157)

      Imagine if somebody proposed the same thing for female infants. What would be the reaction?

      Probably "oh wait, they don't have penises."

      • Re:I call BS (Score:5, Informative)

        by kat_skan ( 5219 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:58PM (#41159243)

        Female circumcision is unfortunately a real thing [].

      • Re:I call BS (Score:5, Informative)

        by Maxmin ( 921568 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:07PM (#41160079)

        Imagine if somebody proposed the same thing for female infants. What would be the reaction?

        In certain countries they do that, and the West refers to it as "female genital mutilation" []

        FGM involves removal of the clitoris, and the inner and outer labia to varying extents.

        FGM is absolutely intended to deny females sexual pleasure; it's a prophylaxis of sorts against adultery. In actuality, it causes them pain for the rest of their lives.

        In these cultures, the men often demand that their bride be cut in this way, otherwise they're undesirable.

        I'm not sure that FGM and male circumcision are comparable. Circumcision came about during a time when hygiene was lax, awareness of causes of infection nonexistent.

    • Re:I call BS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:50PM (#41158185) Homepage

      We were made this way for very good reasons, even if we don't understand them.
      Imagine if somebody proposed the same thing for female infants. What would be the reaction?
      Leave all minors alone. Let them decide when they turn 18.

      Paid for by the "Protect the Appendix" campaign.
      Also; evolution doesn't make anything; it just ends up in some not-too-harmful-before-reproductive-age way after lots of mutations.
      Not advocating circumcission, just saying that medical decission should be based on reality, not assumption or belief.

      • by Chemisor ( 97276 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:13PM (#41158573)

        > Paid for by the "Protect the Appendix" campaign.

        Educate yourself: the appendix serves as a haven for useful bacteria [] when illness flushes those bacteria from the rest of the intestines, and thereby helps maintain normal intestinal flora.

        • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:46PM (#41159097) Homepage Journal

          The science is out on that. There is research, and I look forward to the results. But it is a hypothesis at this point, nothing more.

    • Re:I call BS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:50PM (#41158187)

      Can't agree more. Never understood why parents feel the need to disfigure their children with no input from the child is beyond me. This should be something that an adult decides for his own reasons, not something to be decided for him.

    • Re:I call BS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by guises ( 2423402 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:54PM (#41158251)
      I am also skeptical, though I'm not sure about claiming natural = good. First of all, a savings of US$313 over the life of the patient is trivial given the current US health care system. Really really trivial - I hope they factored the cost of getting the circumcision into that, because that procedure alone is likely to cost double that amount.

      Second, they're citing the African trials again as evidence for this, which... Why would they do that? Those trials took place in some of the poorest parts of Africa, they say nothing about efficacy of circumcision in places were soap is abundant. If there's so much debate around this issue, why don't they just do some trials here in the US?
      • Re:I call BS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by guises ( 2423402 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:26PM (#41158825)
        All right, I skimmed the article and replied in haste so let me correct myself: the cost of getting the circumcision is indeed factored into the $313 cost, and more than that, that cost is averaged over the entire population. So the real cost would be nothing for most people and extremely high for those people who got HIV or some other serious venereal disease or urinary tract infection.

        The actual AAP report also doesn't focus as much on the African trails as the Nature article suggests, what they're really saying is that the cost of getting the circumcision and treating the nominal complications that arise from it is small enough that we should make sure that the option is available (i.e.: not prohibited) even if the benefits are dubious. They also mention some speculative reasons why removing the foreskin may help with infection - the inner surface is thin and susceptible to micro tears, etc. I still think they should do some real trails here before they make recommendations for here, but this is certainly a more reasonable position.

        I personally don't think circumcision is something that should be done to a child who can't fight back, especially since most of the problems that it supposedly helps with don't come up until you're sexually active anyway, but I do recognize that using a condom is much easier for a circumcised person than it is for someone with a foreskin.
      • Re:I call BS (Score:5, Informative)

        by makomk ( 752139 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:45PM (#41159085) Journal

        Not only that, from what I can tell the African trials were an exercise in how not to conduct a reliable scientific study [] and it's a mystery that everyone takes them so seriously. Some of the screw-ups were pretty spectacular - the circumcised group had additional counselling on condom use and safe sex compared to the control and weren't allowed or able to have sex for a relatively large proportion of the study period. Others were more subtle. For instance, they terminated the trial early and circumcised the control group, supposedly because the benefits were so great that they couldn't ethically leave, and this kind of early termination has been shown to cause researchers to find effects that did not in reality actually exist in trials like this one.

        They also noticed that the rate of HIV infection amongst the members of the study decreased after the end of the trial and somehow concluded that this was the result of circumcision somehow becoming more effective over time, despite the fact that this could just as easily be caused by (for instance) their exposure decreasing as they got older for unrelated reasons and the lack of a plausible mechanism through which this would happen. They then extrapolated out this decrease into the future and quoted this extrapolated figure prominently as evidence of the effectiveness of circumcision. That prominent journals and institutions were willing to buy into this is truely bizarre.

    • by Zero__Kelvin ( 151819 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:06PM (#41160065) Homepage

      "Imagine if somebody proposed the same thing for female infants. What would be the reaction?"

      I'm guessing it would be something along the lines of: Holy Shit! She's got a dick!

  • $313? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Milharis ( 2523940 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:44PM (#41158121)

    Is that over the price of doing the surgery?
    Because from what I could find, it's in the 2-3k range; so if you have to pay $2000 to save $313, that might not be the best idea.

    • Re:$313? (Score:5, Informative)

      by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @09:05PM (#41160041)

      Is that over the price of doing the surgery?
      Because from what I could find, it's in the 2-3k range; so if you have to pay $2000 to save $313, that might not be the best idea.

      If you're paying 2 to 3 K, you're probably doing it wrong.

      A remedy for masturbation which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment. In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement.
      (John Harvey Kellogg, M.D., "Treatment for Self-Abuse and its Effects," Plain Fact for Old and Young. Burlington, Iowa: F. Segner & Co. (1888). P. 295) []

      What's the going price of carbolic acid (phenol) these days? ~ $10. And mind you, this added cost is only for females. For males, if you forego anesthesia and all the hassles that come with it, you could probably get a normal Barber to do it for only twice his going rate.

  • $313 is worth it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tylernt ( 581794 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:45PM (#41158127)

    $313 is a small price to pay to not have one's privates butchered.

  • Jesus. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:47PM (#41158149)

    Just practice good hygiene. How about we don't mutilate anyone's private parts against their will?

  • by Red_Chaos1 ( 95148 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:47PM (#41158151) that they harp on the issues of UTIs and STDs/STIs. Those are things that are easily avoidable, and not at all the fault of having a foreskin. If baby gets a UTI, mommy and daddy need to do a better job cleaning baby up and cleaning baby sooner. If, as a man, the person has issues with STDs/STIs, well gee stop being a moron having unprotected/risky sex Einstein.

    Trying to lump the added medical costs is the same. The costs brought on are not due to the foreskin, they are due to the creators of the baby, and/or the owner of the penis.

    • by Velex ( 120469 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @08:56PM (#41159941) Journal

      You're forgetting to point out the insignificance of the numbers in question. For UTI, if it's a 90% reduction, well, take the existing incidence rate, 1.5%, add 90%, and it's still less than 3%. And how many babies die from UTI? We're talking /infection/ here of a routine infant condition, not mortality.

      It makes me want to throw up.

      Then I watch how people react to allowing US hospitals to perform the "clitoral pin-prick" style female circumcision which fulfills certain religious beliefs. Nothing is removed. Read my other comments, and I would gladly trade 10 years of physical pain (possibly) due to a circumcision a bit too tight for a pin-prick. People lose their shit. Really, I had a comment removed from just for mentioning that hospitals (and the AAP) had considered creating a protocol for this pin-prick.

      If I can be 100% serious for a moment, think about it. Girls every year are trafficked to 3rd world countries to be mutilated. US hospitals are offering to do something that will be done anyway in a less severe, much more sterile manner. And people still lose their shit. So, the girls continue to get trafficked to 3rd world countries to have their clitorises pricked with a bacteria-infested knife, resulting in irritation that requires amputation of the entire clitoris. BUT OMG FGM BRAIN LEAKS OUT EAR. But male circumcision, ok, that's cool.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:50PM (#41158191)
    I'm not American, and I can't quite understand where does the custom in the US comes from. Is it religious in origin? I know muslims, jews and americans practice it, but that's about it. Does anyone know? As far as I know, it's not common at all on other countries.
    • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:56PM (#41158293) Homepage Journal

      I'm not American, and I can't quite understand where does the custom in the US comes from. Is it religious in origin? I know muslims, jews and americans practice it, but that's about it. Does anyone know? As far as I know, it's not common at all on other countries.

      Yea, that's how we distinguish ourselves from you unwashed heathens*.

      * in before the negative mods - That's called a JOKE, you humorless assholes!

    • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:10PM (#41158511)

      More or less. Several prominent advocates of circumcision, such as John Harvey Kellog, liked the idea that it would reduce masturbation (especially if the pain was remembered!).

      The medical benefits are dubious, particularly as there are indications that any reduction in male infection rates are outweighed by increased rates of female infection rates. Either way condoms and HPV vaccinations are far, far, far, far more effective and appropriate.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:54PM (#41159187)

        Several prominent advocates of circumcision, such as John Harvey Kellog, liked the idea that it would reduce masturbation

        So, I would masturbate even more if I hadn't been circumcised? Is this even possible?!

        • by oji-sama ( 1151023 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @08:24PM (#41159567)

          So, I would masturbate even more if I hadn't been circumcised? Is this even possible?!

          Probably not, but you might enjoy it more.

          From the article

          There is fair evidence from a cross-sectional study of Korean men of decreased masturbatory pleasure after adult circumcision

          Or as they say in the referenced article

          There were no differences in sexual drive, erection and ejaculation, but circumcised men reported decreased masturbatory pleasure and sexual enjoyment. We conclude that adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in a signicant number of men, possibly because of loss of nerve endings.

    • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @08:34PM (#41159705)

      I'm not American, and I can't quite understand where does the custom in the US comes from. Is it religious in origin? I know muslims, jews and americans practice it, but that's about it. Does anyone know?

      As far as I know, it's not common at all on other countries.

      Apparently, we can thank our puritan roots []

      Routine circumcision as a preventative or cure for masturbation was proposed in Victorian times in America. Masturbation was thought to be the cause of a number of diseases. The procedure of routine circumcision became commonplace between 1870 and 1920, and it consequently spread to all the English-speaking countries (England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). None of these countries now circumcise the majority of their male children, a distinction reserved today for the United States (in the UK, in fact, nonreligious circumcision has virtually ceased). Yet, there are still those who promote this social surgery, long after the masturbation hysteria of the past century has subsided.

      "By about 1880 the individual... might wish[to]... tie, chain, or infibulate sexually active children... to adorn them with grotesque appliances, encase them in plaster, leather, or rubber, to frighten or even castrate them... masturbation insanity was now real enough--it was affecting the medical profession."
      (B. Berkeley, quoted from _Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma_, by Rosemary Romberg, Bergin & Garvey Publisher, Inc, S. Hadley MA, USA, 1985, ISBN 089789-073-6)

      Dr. E.J. Spratling, who promoted this surgery by telling his colleagues that "...circumcision is undoubtedly the physician's closest friend and ally..." prescribed in 1895 the method of circumcision as it is practiced in hospitals today.

      "To obtain the best results one must cut away enough skin and mucous membrane to rather put it on the stretch when erections come later. There must be no play in the skin after the wound has thoroughly healed, but it must fit tightly over the penis, for should there be any play the patient will be found to readily resume his practice not begrudging the time and extra energy required to produce the orgasm... We may not be sure that we have done away with the possibility of masturbation, but we may feel confident that we have limited it to within the danger lines."
      (E.J. Spratling, MD. Medical Record, Masturbation in the Adult, vol. 48, no. 13, September 28, 1895, pp. 442-443.)

      Here is an example of what another sexaphobic American doctor had to say about masturbation in 1903:

      "It (self abuse) lays the foundation for consumption, paralysis and heart disease. It weakens the memory, makes a boy careless, negligent and listless. It even makes many lose their minds; others, when grown, commit suicide.... Don't think it does no harm to your boy because he does not suffer now, for the effects of this vice come on so slowly that the victim is often very near death before you realize that he has done himself harm. It is worthy of note that many eminent physicians now advocate the custom of circumcision..."
      (Mary R. Melendy, MD, The Ideal Woman - For Maidens, Wives and Mothers, 1903.)
      (The above material is quoted from J. Bigelow, The Joy of Uncircumcising, Hourglass Book Publishing, Aptos, CA, USA. Thanks to Robin Verner.)

      In America, foreskins were not rare at the time circumcision was introduced into widespread practice. Paradoxically, then, the understanding of the intact male organ at that time was somewhat greater than it is today. (In particular, it never would have been possible to promote circumcision on the basis that it was "necessary for hygienic reasons"---this came later, when doctors themselves were mostly circumcised men.)

      [...] []

      Oh, and you've got to love this quote, which can be found on the same page:

  • by sackofdonuts ( 2717491 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:53PM (#41158231)
    The problem is sex education in this country. How about leaving the foreskin and teaching boys how to take care of themselves and what to avoid?
  • I call bullshit... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:54PM (#41158257)
    As a man that suffers from sever penile insensitivity, presumably from my circumcision (which became infected due to poor practices at the hospital), I believe it is a useless, barbaric practice, almost akin to clitordectomies. Clitordectomies, by the way, are also known as female circumcisions. Coincidence?
    If you want some of the truth about what a circumcision actually does I suggest reading the following: [] []
    • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:13PM (#41158577) Journal

      Mod this gentleman UP please people.
      I too have damaged genetalia due to a circumcision that I didn't want, had no say in and didn't need, fortunately the damage isn't too severe in my case. (turkey neck)

      Please take a look at this, it's not for the squeemish, nor is it work safe. []
      That is a rare occurance just like myself and wbr1, however NONE of them needed to fucking well occur in the first place.

      Oh and can I just say, politically correct or not - women do not have any say in this topic of discussion, NONE, NADA, their opinion is utterly worthless on this topic - be it for or against. I've seen too many articles on this topic with facebook or twitter posts by women who think they have a right to comment on it.
      The one I saw yesterday which got me fired up by a woman "your son, your decision" ugh.

      This practice should be banned.

  • by BMOC ( 2478408 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:56PM (#41158297)

    I'm forfeiting a mod point for this, sorry to whoever I modded up... The actual abstract of the actual paper backing up this claim (BOLD IS MINE):

    ABSTRACT. Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision. In circumstances in which there are potential benefits and risks, yet the procedure is not essential to the child’s current well-being, parents should determine what is in the best interest of the child. To make an informed choice, parents of all male infants should be given accurate and unbiased information and be provided the opportunity to discuss this decision. If a decision for circumcision is made, procedural analgesia should be provided.

    IOW, no, we're not recommending anything, we're simply saying there are POTENTIAL medical benefits. Well there are potential medical benefits to getting my appendix removed, or my tonsils cut out, it doesn't mean I should be forced to make that decision.

    Stupid journalists, we need to seriously trim the fat in that industry and start with these jackasses who misrepresent science for political gain.

  • Mechanics (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slim ( 1652 ) <john@hartnup . n et> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:16PM (#41158655) Homepage

    (Speaking as a man with a foreskin, who can't quite imagine what it would be like not to have one... uncomfortable?)

    I occasionally see reports about circumcision affecting cancer outcomes, AIDS transmission, things like that.

    What completely mystifies me, is the mechanics of these effects. Perhaps a foreskin can lead to increased transmission of AIDS. How? By what mechanism?

    • Re:Mechanics (Score:5, Interesting)

      by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:36PM (#41158965)

      Take a group of men
      Circumcize some of them. Those circumcized can't do anything much sexually for a few weeks, maybe longer
      Observe that circumcision lowers STDs
      Pat yourself on the back, and go maim a few hundred thousands kids. Don't forget to bill them for it.

  • by loshwomp ( 468955 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:20PM (#41158713)

    I decided STDs weren't likely to be a significant threat to my infant son. If he wants to have part of himself chopped off when he turns sixteen, I'll give him all the info and support his choice. I think I can predict how it'll turn out, but I'm not kidding--I'll drive him to the hospital myself.

    (And before anyone starts, the entire rest of the pro-circumcision argument revolves around an additional 9-per-thousand UTI infection rate. Yawn.)

  • In a nutshell. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:24PM (#41158791) Homepage

    US healthcare will pay for religious mutilation, but not for planned parenthood.

    I think we've identified the core of what is wrong here.

  • Why the AAP is Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:25PM (#41158821)

    1) The AAP omitted the fact that the foreskin is an important part of male anatomy with specific sexual, sensory, and protective functions. How can the AAP possibly recommend removing part of the body when they won't even discuss its functions? (Google functions of the foreskin)

    2) The AAP failed to address the ethical problems with amputating healthy tissue from a child without that child's consent. Doing so without absolute medical necessity is a violation of the child's basic human right to an intact body and the right to choose for himself when he is an adult.

    3) HIV prevention is not a valid reason for circumcising an infant who is not sexually active. HIV is easily prevented in other, less invasive ways. Other modern nations are not endorsing circumcision as an HIV prevention method. To learn more see this handout from Intact America. Also, a recent study from Puerto Rico shows that circumcised men in that area have higher rates of HIV and other STDs than intact men.

    4) The AAP cannot credibly say the benefits outweigh the risks since they don't have good data on what the risks are. Few good studies have been done on the risks of circumcision, and no state or national system exists for collecting adverse event reports. Further, very little data is available on long-term complications. Without solid data on the risks and long-term complications of circumcision, any conclusion which weighs benefits vs. risks, or benefits vs. cost, is fundamentally flawed.

    5) The AAP is out of step with the statements from other countries. Other nations are moving away from newborn circumcision, even to the point of considering bans on newborn circumcision in some areas, but the AAP is moving in the opposite direction. This shows just now biased the AAP has become and that they are really just trying to justify an outdated practice rather than view the situation objectively. I hope that the AAP comes under international pressure to retract this new statement, as occurred with their ill-conceived female genital cutting statement a few years ago.

  • As a parent... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OldSport ( 2677879 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @08:28PM (#41159619)

    I am a parent. Holding my newborn daughter in the hospital room, singing to her some of the songs we had played for her when she was in my wife's belly, trying unsuccessfully to choke back the tears of joy and amazement as I gazed into her eyes -- it was without a doubt the most amazing experience of my life. The idea of subjecting that beautiful, fragile, and innocent baby to the kind of trauma and pain that circumcision entails is something I could never dream of doing. Honestly, I'd rather walk into traffic or jump off a building.

    And that's not even touching the logical arguments against circumcision, which are pretty much airtight.

  • by Darth_brooks ( 180756 ) <clipper377&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @08:44PM (#41159803) Homepage []

    The rate of HPV assisted Penile Cancer in the US among the various demographics of men ranges from .4 per 100,000 for Asian / Pacific Islander to .8 per 100,000 white males, up to 1.3 per 100,000 for Hispanic males. If that's your justification for circumcision (and it's totally fine if it is) you're taking some strong proactive steps against a fairly slight risk. []

    Per year, 1570 *cases* are diagnosed, and roughly 310 men die of penile cancer. You quite literally have a 99.9999% chance of never being diagnosed with penile cancer.

    So, aside from the cancer part, the overall message re: Penis isn't much different from owning a gun "Take care of it, keep it clean, and use it safely." (also, don't point it at your eye, it might go off.) It hurts me a bit to see people running around like Thomas Dolby with Echolalia yelling "SCIENCE!" in every instance of X > Y. You're right, the numbers certainly side with science. But the data provided also says that, in the Western world where things like soap and running water aren't privileges, you're pretty much (as in 99%+) OK either way, at least until the boy hits an age where a responsible parent can instill care and handling procedures to prevent later issues like STD's.

    (as an aside, there is at least the smallest shred of financial incentive for Doctors to perform circumcisions in the US, but that isn't part of a grand "strip 'em and clip 'em" conspiracy, it's a fundamental flaw in the system. Somewhere along the line it was determined that insurance will pay for it, ergo it gets done. My 84 year old grandmother with cmphysema and congestive heart failure was put on Lipitor the last time she was admitted. Her cholesterol wasn't the problem, Smoking for 70+ years was. As the Doctor bluntly put it, the main reason was "Medicare will pay for it." There was was slight medical benefit. But, for the most part, it was a money move. If you try and break that cycle, though, people start screaming about "Death Panels." Sigh....)

    This isn't in the same ballpark as say, not getting your kids a whooping cough vaccine. So help me if I find those fuckers at daycare who sent their little outbreak monkeys in....

  • by Pastis ( 145655 ) on Wednesday August 29, 2012 @01:40AM (#41162277)
    Everybody knows that nails get dirty. So instead of educating my kids to wash their hands before they eat, I nail-circumcised their nails when they were born. That way, no more diseases. And you know, 10 years later, they feel OK with that. They never remember having nails. And they didn't get a disease at all. Proof!

    Some naysayers mention that the kids on the other side of the fence did get some disease one day, even though they are nail nail-circumcised. That's because their parents let them play everywhere. They should practice playground-abstinence like my kids, and put on their preservahand gloves when they go to school.

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?