Circumcision is a surgical procedure used to remove the skin that covers the tip of the penis. This procedure is common for newborn males in the United States. However, males who aren’t circumcised at birth may choose to undergo circumcision later in life. Circumcision can’t be reversed once it’s been performed.
Parents of male children or older males who aren’t circumcised may choose circumcision for many different reasons. For some people, circumcision is a family tradition or a religious ritual. Some people may also choose circumcision for hygienic reasons. Also, some people decide to circumcise a child or undergo circumcision themselves for social reasons.
Circumcision may be performed in the hospital or at a clinic. The doctor begins the procedure by cleaning the penis and numbing it with a local anesthetic. In some cases, general anesthesia may be necessary. After the child is numb or under anesthesia, the doctor places a sterile clamp over the head of the penis and removes the foreskin with scissors or a scalpel.
Circumcision may cause discomfort. However, the pain associated with this procedure is usually temporary.
Like all surgical procedures, circumcision poses some risks for the patient. Some of the risks of circumcision include:
In rare cases, patients who undergo circumcision may also experience scarring, heavy bleeding, and damage to the opening of the urethra. Any complications following a circumcision procedure should be reported to the doctor immediately.
After circumcision, the patient may need to stay in the hospital for up to four hours for monitoring. However, most patients can return home on the day of the procedure. The penis may be swollen for several days, and slight bleeding may also occur. The patient may feel some discomfort during the recovery period, and a thin, yellow film will develop over the circumcision site. This film will disappear in a few days.
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