A circumcision is a surgical procedure that removes the skin (foreskin) covering the tip of the penis (the glans).
What is a circumcision?
A circumcision is a surgical procedure that removes the skin (foreskin) covering the tip of the penis (the glans). In the United States, circumcisions are fairly common for newborn males. The procedure can be performed on teenagers and adults, but it is more complex.
Why is it done?
Circumcisions are performed for a number of reasons, including:
- Religious or cultural rituals
- Family tradition
- Preventive health care
- Personal hygiene
From a medical standpoint, sometimes the foreskin is too tight to retract or be pulled back over the glans. In other parts of the world, circumcisions are recommended to reduce the risk of some sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs). Circumcised men have a lower risk of STIs, HIV and urinary tract infections (UTIs) than uncircumcised men. Hygiene is also easier, as the penis is easier to wash without the foreskin. Circumcision does not affect fertility, nor should it have a large impact on sexual pleasure for men and their partners.
How is it done?
Newborn circumcisions are performed at the clinic when the baby is less than 10 lbs. and within the first 30 days after birth. The penis and surrounding areas are cleaned and an anesthetic is injected into the base of the penis. A special clamp is attached to the penis and the foreskin is removed. After the procedure is over, the penis is covered with a topical antibiotic and is wrapped with gauze. For patients 31 days and older, or newborns larger than 10 lbs., this procedure would be referred to a urologist.
Healing generally takes 10 days, and after the procedure, you may notice swelling, bruising, redness and even a small amount of yellow fluid on the tip of the penis.*
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*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.