What is Circumcision?
Circumcision is the surgical removal of some or the entire foreskin covering the head or glans (rounded tip) of the penis. The procedure is performed for cultural or religious reasons, or for health reasons. It is a safe surgical procedure if performed by a trained, experienced practitioner, using a strict aseptic (sterile) technique and if performed on a healthy, stable infant.
Procedure of Circumcision
The procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes and is usually performed on the first or second day after birth. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. It is performed using surgical clamp techniques or with a plastibell, a special disposable plastic device. Healing takes 7 to 10 days after circumcision.
Circumcision prevents urinary tract infections in infants and penile cancer in adults. It may also reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
In uncircumcised males, penile problems such as irritation, infection, and inflammation are more common.
Complications of Circumcision
Complications of newborn circumcision are uncommon; the most common problems are minor bleeding and infection. Sometimes, skin irritation of the skin of newly exposed glans may occur, caused by the pressure of diapers and ammonia in the urine.
Call your doctor if there is persistent bleeding or blood on the diaper if there are increased swelling and redness, yellow discharge around the tip of the penis and fever.
To reduce the risk of infection, gentle cleaning of the area should be done with simple soap and warm water. A small amount of petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment should be applied to your baby’s penis or on the diaper, at each diaper change.
Circumcision is contraindicated in unstable or sick infants, premature infants, and in infants born with genital anomalies and bleeding disorders.