Circumcision (surgical removal of the foreskin) is an aesthetic or religious procedure that we are happy to perform for our patients. There is no medical evidence for or against circumcision-it is a completely elective procedure. Risks include bleeding, infection, local organ damage and the need for possible revision for aesthetic reasons-these occur very rarely. Typically, the circumcision is performed before the infant is discharged home. One parent will sign a consent form prior to the circumcision and then the infant is taken to the nursery. We always use a local numbing medicine similar to novocaine and try to keep the infant as comfortable as possible with “sweetees” and a pacifier. The whole procedure takes 10-15 minutes.
Following circumcision, it is important to keep the area as clean as possible. Gently clean with soap and warm water —do not use diaper wipes. You should also place Vaseline or Aquaphor on a gauze pad over the tip of the penis for 3 to 5 days to alleviate any potential discomfort caused by friction against the diaper. It usually takes between 7 to 10 days for a penis to heal. Initially the tip may appear slightly swollen and red and you may notice a small amount of blood on the diaper. You may also notice a slight yellow discharge or crust after a couple of day. Although this is normal, certain other problems are not. If your baby has any of the following symptoms, let your pediatrician know right away; they could mean infection or some other problem:
- persistent bleeding or more than quarter-sized spot of blood on his diaper
- crusty, fluid-filled sores
- trouble urinating