Circumcision Male – Pediatric

Circumcision is a procedure in which the foreskin, the skin covering the tip of the penis, is surgically removed.

What is it?

Circumcision is associated with religious and cultural traditions throughout the world, but it is also performed for medical reasons. One example is in the case of an abnormally tight foreskin that cannot be pulled back over the glans. Additional health benefits of circumcision include decreased risk of sexually transmitted infections, urinary tract infections, penile problems, and easier hygiene. Circumcision is typically performed on newborns but is not recommended for premature babies or babies with blood clotting disorders due to the risk of excessive bleeding.

What should I do to prepare?

If a newborn is receiving the circumcision, the parents or guardians will choose this procedure on behalf of the child. Reasons for circumcising the child vary and it is best to discuss the risks, advantages, and disadvantages of this procedure with the doctor. If the procedure is performed later after birth, it is usually performed on an outpatient basis The patient should have transportation accommodations made so that he can continue recovery at home. Written consent from either the parents or the patient will likely be necessary to proceed. If an adult or older child is being circumcised, general anesthesia is needed. In that case, patients cannot eat or drink the evening before the surgery to control for complications with anesthesia, namely aspiration. When a patient is administered anesthesia, it is possible for food in the stomach to be expelled into the lungs. In order to avoid such problems, the patient must not eat or drink the night before the surgery or for the period of time communicated by the doctor. Additionally, the patient should refrain from taking blood thinners during the week prior to surgery since these drugs increase the risk of bleeding during the operation. The patient should consult with his doctor about the use of blood thinners based on his personal health needs since some may require this medication to prevent strokes.

What happens during the process?

The newborn baby lays down with his legs and arms restrained. The penis is clamped and local anesthetic such as a cream or injection will be applied so the child will not feel pain. The foreskin is then excised and the wound area is covered with ointment. The recovery process persist for a week and a half. During this time, a child’s diapers should be loose and the penis should be regularly washed. Ointment or petroleum jelly should be reapplied after each cleaning. If a man or older boy is being circumcised, general anesthesia and stitches are utilized.

What are the risks and potential complications?

Circumcision includes risks, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Problems with foreskin
  • Nerve damage
  • Aspiration


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