Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the foreskin. It usually requires general anesthesia and takes approximately 30-60 minutes to perform. It can be performed on both children and adults. As urologists, we perform circumcisions on patients who have significant redness or irritation to the foreskin, adhesions to the head of the penis, have redundant foreskin, or did not have a circumcision as an infant. Because a general anesthesia is used, the procedure is not performed until a baby reaches at least 6 months of age, which is the age where there is a decrease in the risk associated with anesthesia. Circumcisions have been associated with a decreased risk of penile cancer later in life. Reasons for having a circumcision after the newborn period often have to do with pain associated with erection, penile infections, and poor appearance of redundant foreskin.

What to expect afterwards:

Circumcisions are done on an outpatient basis and involve removing the redundant skin and using absorbable stitches to bring the skin edges together. A penile dressing may be applied and is usually removed within 24 to 48 hours. Swelling of the penis is very common after the procedure as is some bruising and a small amount of bloody drainage from the incision. Pain with erections is not uncommon early on and refraining from sexual activity for 4-6 weeks is advised. It is helpful to apply Bacitracin or Neosporin ointment to the incision with each diaper change, or twice a day for adults to help with healing process. The associated swelling and bruising of the penis decreases over the first few weeks. Some small separation of the incision can occur so continue to apply the ointment to this area twice a day until it has healed.


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