When boy are born, they have a loose flap of skin that covers and protects the rounded top part of the penis, called the foreskin. In newborn boy , the foreskin, which contains nerves,blood vessels, and a tiny part of muscle, is stuck to the penis.
However, as they grow up, the foreskin separates, making it easier for urine to exit the body, and letting the skin pull back when there is an erection.
Circumcision is a common surgical procedure to remove the foreskin. It is often performed based on religious beliefs, concerns about hygiene, or cultural or social reasons. The regular circumcision procedure is usually done in the first 10 days, often within the first 48 hours, either in the hospital, or for some religious ritual circumcisions, at home.
If parents decide to have their son circumcised at the hospital, the paediatrician, family doctor, or obstetrician will perform the procedure before they bring their boy home. Circumcision performed after the newborn period can be more complicated and will usually require general anaesthesia. The doctor can provide information about the procedure and the possible risks.
Circumcision is usually an elective surgery performed because of religious beliefs, concerns about hygiene, or cultural or social reasons. However, circumcision is sometimes done as a treatment for certain medical conditions or for preventative reasons. For example, it is a treatment option for problematic cases of phimosis,balanoposthitis that does not resolve with other treatments, and recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs).
The preventive benefits of circumcision include decreasing the risk of urinary tract infections in infancy. When circumcision is done, adult men have less risks of penile cancer, and potentially decrease the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including transmission of HIV which causes AIDS. It can also decrease the risk of cervical cancer and some infections for their female partners.
Circumcision also reduces the risks of balanitis and paraphimosis. Last but not least, it creates easier genital hygiene.
During the circumcision surgery, the foreskin is freed from the head of the penis, and the excess foreskin is removed. If the procedure is done during the newborn period, it only takes about 5 to 10 minutes. On the other hand, the circumcision of adults will require about one hour. The circumcision normally takes five to seven days to heal.
Just like any surgery, there are risks associated with circumcision, but the risk is low. Potential problems associated with circumcision include pain, risk of bleeding and infection at the site of the circumcision, irritation of the glans, increased risk of meatitis (inflammation of the opening of the penis), and risk of injury to the penis.
However, circumcision is not recommended in cases of certain genital structure abnormalities or poor general health. In some cases, doctors may decide to delay the procedure or forgo it.For example, premature babies or those with special medical conditions may not be circumcised until they are ready to leave the hospital.
In addition, babies born with physical abnormalities of the penis that need to be corrected surgically often are not circumcised, because the foreskin may be used as part of a reconstructive operation.
Circumcision is an elective surgery often performed while newborns are still in the hospital. Certain medical professionals, including paediatricians and obstetricians, are trained to perform circumcision in newborns. If parents choose to have this procedure performed on their newborn, they will be asked to sign a consent form.
For older children and adults, circumcision is usually done on an outpatient basis, and it can be done in a hospital or surgery centre. Proper consent is also needed. For some religious ritual circumcisions, the procedure might be done at home.