In the United States, most males who are circumcised undergo the procedure as infants, with over 50% of newborn males being circumcised each year. Yet that means about half of American men are uncircumcised.
Baby boys are born with a foreskin, which covers the end of the penis. Circumcision involves the removal of the foreskin using surgical tools. After the procedure, the tip of your penis is exposed.
If you’re uncircumcised, you might wonder if you should get the procedure and what to expect if you do. Board-certified urologist Philip Weintraub, MD, and his team at Urology Associates Medical Group understand that people of all ages may choose circumcision for different reasons.
While the decision whether to get circumcised is ultimately up to you, this guide can provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision. Here’s what you need to know.
If you weren’t circumcised as an infant and are making the decision as an older male, know that it’s a personal choice, not usually a medically necessary directive. When people circumcise their infant sons, they do so for a variety of reasons, including religion, cultural influences, or societal norms.
Some adult men opt for circumcision because they feel self-conscious. And while circumcision isn’t usually medically necessary, research shows the procedure is correlated to a decrease in different medical conditions, including:
The risks associated with circumcision are extremely low, but when they do occur, they include issues like irritation, bleeding, and infection at the incision site. Studies demonstrate that the above benefits outweigh these minor risks.
Older male circumcision is an outpatient procedure, and it can take 30-60 minutes to perform. We may give you some medication to help you stay calm if you’re feeling nervous.
During the procedure, we numb the end of your penis and clean the area with an antiseptic. Then we place a sterile clamp on the head of your penis to separate it from the skin.
We surgically remove the foreskin using a scalpel or surgical scissors, and then either suture or cauterize to close the wound. Finally, we wrap your penis in a protective dressing to keep it clean while you heal.
For the first few days, you can expect some swelling and bruising. You can apply cold packs to your groin for 10-20 minutes at a time every few hours to help minimize these side effects, but don’t apply ice directly to your skin.
You can expect to return to our Burbank, California, office after a few days to have the dressing removed and your incision checked, but recovery takes several weeks. During this time, you may need to abstain from certain activities, including:
Most patients are cleared to return to these normal activities about 4-6 weeks after their circumcision. We create a personalized recovery timeline based on your unique factors, including age and overall health.
While you recover, follow all post-procedure instructions carefully. Most patients manage any discomfort with over-the-counter pain medicines. Depending on different factors, we give some men a prescription for an antibiotic.
You can speed your recovery by wearing supportive undergarments to keep swelling and pain at bay, and be sure to keep the area clean, following our instructions.
Are you interested in learning more about circumcision? Schedule a consultation with our team at Urological Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California.