Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis of your male baby. It is usually done within the first few days of birth.
At birth, the penis has a protective sleeve of tissue, called the foreskin, covering the glans, or head.
The foreskin can usually be pulled back to expose the glans of the penis by puberty.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the potential health benefits of circumcision include:
easier cleaning of the penis,
decreased risk of getting HIV, sexually transmitted infections, urinary tract infections, and certain cancers,
and prevention of foreskin problems, such as complications from the inability to pull it back over the tip of the penis.
Other common reasons for circumcision are: religious, social, and cultural beliefs.
Before the procedure, the area will be cleaned. The caregiver will apply pain medicine, either as an injection or as a numbing cream.
During the procedure, a small slit will be made in the foreskin, and it will be loosened from the head.
The caregiver will place a device over the glans.
This device will protect the penis, allowing the foreskin to be safely removed.
If a plastic device is used, the caregiver will tie the foreskin to the ring.
Then, the foreskin will be trimmed. The ring will be left in place and will fall off in five to seven days, leaving a healed circumcision.
If a metal “bell” device is used, the foreskin will be trimmed around the base of the bell.
The bell will be removed at the end of the procedure.
After the procedure, it is normal for the glans to be sensitive, appear raw, and have a little yellowish discharge.
If a bandage is used, change it with the diaper. Use petroleum jelly, or antibiotic ointment, to keep the bandage from sticking to the wound.
It’s safe to wash the penis gently with water, as it heals. The circumcision should completely heal within ten to fourteen days.
To find out more about circumcision, talk to your healthcare provider