Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin covering the tip of the penis. This surgery is often performed on newborns, but may also be performed on adult males.
Circumcision is a common procedure done by a urologist for religious, cultural, personal hygiene or preventive health care. In some cases, circumcision is medically necessary, like if the foreskin is too tight on the tip of the penis. Circumcision has the following health benefits:
- Easier hygiene
- Decreased risk of urinary tract infections
- Decreased risk of sexually transmitted diseases
- Prevention of issues with the penis
- Decreased risk of penile cancer
How is circumcision done?
For newborns, circumcision is often done within 10 days of birth, in the hospital. With your son's arms and leg restrained, the groin area is cleaned, and an anaesthetic is given to numb the penis. Next, a special clamp or plastic ring will be attached to the penis, and the excess foreskin is clipped off.
For smaller boys or adults, this surgery may be done the same way, by freeing the foreskin from the head of the penis and removing the excess foreskin, but under general anaesthesia.
Following the circumcision the penis will be covered loosely with gauze and an antibacterial ointment will be applied. It is important to take care with newborn babies after a circumcision. You should be careful how you hold him as not to put pressure on the penis, and petroleum jelly should be applied to the tip of the penis to keep it from sticking to the nappy. The bandages should be changed with each nappy change. Once healed, the penis may be washed as normal. The tip of the penis may look red, swollen and bruised, but this is normal. A circumcision generally takes 5-7 days to heal but may take longer for older children or adults.