Male Circumcision – Procedure, Risks and After Care

Baby boys are born with a foreskin covering their penis to provide warmth and lubrication. Circumcision involves the surgical removal of this foreskin during infancy. However, grown up adults may sometimes have to undergo this surgery as a treatment method for certain rare conditions.

The foreskin is the normal extension of skin covering the entire penis. Initially, this foreskin does not pull back and remains closely attached to the center of penis. Around the age of 2 years, the skin around the penis starts loosening and appears as a balloon when the baby urinates. It must be noted that the layer of skin should never be pushed back or pulled as it may lead to serious complications. In most cases, the foreskin detaches on its own and does not need any surgical intervention; however, in some cases, due to a number of reasons this detachment is hindered and hence needs to be operated.

Circumcision in India is commonly performed in most hospitals and care centers at an affordable price. Therefore, parents need to consult doctors at an initial stage when the child is not complaining of any serious discomfort. This facilitates an easy surgery and quicker recovery. This post explains circumcision procedure for both newborns and adult men. You may also get an overview of how to take care post surgery and the risks involved when the surgical procedure is carried out at a later stage.

Reasons for circumcision:

Following are some of the common reasons that call for circumcision:

  • Medical: Phimosis, a medical condition where the foreskin does not retract or pull back naturally and hence requires circumcision in older men as well as babies. However, adults may first opt for other medication such as steroids that prove beneficial.
  • Cultural: Jewish, Islamic and a section of African population opt for circumcision even when the penis foreskin retracts or pulls back naturally.
  • HIV prevention: Experts say that heterosexual men may reduce the risk of acquiring HIV by undergoing circumcision.
  • Balanitis: A medical condition where the foreskin and head of penis gets repeatedly infected causing acute inflammation and pain.
  • Urinary Tract Infections: In the rarest of conditions, circumcision may be opted when a person is suffering from regular urinary infections and medicines fail to provide the needed solution.

How to prepare for circumcision?

Circumcision in India is usually performed on a day patient basis and does not require any overnight stays in the hospital. Six hours prior to procedure, patients are asked to abstain from food or water. Alcohol, smoke and caffeine need to be avoided completely, as common with any other minor or major surgery. On the day of surgery, you will first meet the anesthetist along with the surgeon. This is the best time to discuss any of your concerns and to get a brief idea about taking care post surgery.

A local anesthesia is first administered for a numbing action on the penis and surrounding area, so that patients do not experience any pain while the procedure is being performed. In some cases, spinal anesthesia may also be used that leaves a numbing action on the entire area below waist.

Now, your surgeon will use a scalpel to carefully remove the foreskin just behind the head of penis. Some bleeding may take place and can be taken care off with cauterized. Edges of the skin are stitched back with disposable stitches which marks the end of procedure.

After a couple of hours, your surgeon may ask you to urinate to know if there is any severe discomforts other than the usual dull pain that disappears within a day or two. If everything seems to be fine, you are discharged to go home. However, always have a friend or family member to drive you home, as driving may not be a good option for your newly operated penis.

Recovery period:

Your penis will remain sore and inflamed for around 10 days post surgery. Urinating may be a little difficult for adult men, while children may complain of severe pain. However, with regular application of ointments and other medicines, this discomfort will subside within a few days.

  • Wearing loose outfits is highly recommended so as to avoid any unnecessary rubbing against your underwear
  • Children may be left with no clothing on the bottom for few days until the penis has recovered slightly
  • You may take bath the following day; however, proper care needs to be taken so as to avoid complications
  • Driving or riding bicycles need to be avoided until the inflammation has completely subsided
  • Abstain from sexual activities for a month or so to avoid any further infections, bleeding or inflammation
  • Use of petroleum jelly on the head of penis is highly recommended, as it prevents rubbing of penis against underwear and accelerates the healing process
  • Troubled urination, pain, fever, rash, itching or bleeding needs to be reported immediately to your doctor.

Risks associated with circumcision:

Circumcision when performed at an early stage has no risk and is rather mandatory to prevent future complications. However, the same performed during adulthood may have certain risks associated. Listed below are some of the complications that may arise post circumcision; however, these are some of the rarest of situations that may arise due to improper surgical techniques or inadequate after care.

  • Reduced sensation around penis especially during sex
  • Tenderness around the scar
  • Stitches that do not dissolve on their own may need a second surgery
  • Left out skin may lead to a similar problem that calls for a second surgery

This was all about circumcision and how to prepare yourself or your child for the surgery.

Circumcision is the process of surgical removal of the foreskin covering penis when it does not retracts naturally. However, there are a multitude of other reasons that may call for this medical treatment; as for example, heterosexual men can prevent HIV infection by undergoing this surgical procedure.

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