Circumcision is a surgical procedure that cuts away the foreskin and tissue that covers the penis in babies. This ancient practice had its beginnings as a religious procedure or a rite of passage in some cultures, with modern parents opting to continue the tradition. Some also do it for health benefits such as a decreased risk of urinary tract infections or UTIs, protection from penile cancer, and the ease of cleaning the tip of the organ.
If you’re planning to have your baby boy circumcised, here are some tips you should know about the procedure:
1. There are doctors who specialize in this procedure
If you and your baby are a part of a religion or culture that requires the male members of the community to be circumcised, you should look for doctors who specialize in traditional circumcisions like the experts from Manchester Circumcision. They conduct the procedure on clients of varying ages, from as young as six weeks old to adults.
Moreover, when looking for a trained circumciser, you should check their clinic to assess its sterility and conduciveness for the minor surgical operation. Ask if they provide after-care services and support as the wound will take time to heal and cleaning it can be tricky particularly for newborns.
You can also check for reviews or videos about circumcision doctors like this one:
2. There’s no ideal age for surgery
Various factors affect the parents’ decision to have their sons circumcised. Different religions and cultures have varying timeframes for this procedure. In Jewish tradition, baby boys go through the process eight days after giving birth. For Muslims, it is done when the child is six years old as a rite of passage as, at this age, he is already deemed as a man who is brave enough for the pain.
The age of surgery mainly depends on:
- Beliefs – Your cultural and religious beliefs greatly influence the time when your son should be circumcised.
- Medical Reasons – If your son is having medical issues that can be alleviated by circumcision, such as repeated infections of the foreskin, a doctor may suggest that he go through the procedure to solve the problem.
3. The procedure is straightforward
Circumcision is a minor surgery that can be performed at the hospital or clinics. The surgeon uses a local anesthetic to numb the reproductive area of your baby boy. The anesthesia can be an injection in the penis’ base, or a topical cream applied approximately 40 minutes before the procedure, or a combination of both processes. Jewish custom, however, dictates that no anesthetic should be used.
These are the three standard methods of circumcision:
- PlastiBell – With this technique, the doctor places a clear plastic ring around the head of the penis and cuts the foreskin across. The excess skin beyond the ring is removed as well. The ring stays on to decrease bleeding after the surgery and falls on its own after five to eight days.
- Gomco – A Goldstein Medical Company or Gomco metal clamp is used to hold approximately one millimeter of the foreskin. It separates the skin from the glans and is cut away by the doctor. The device protects the head of the penis from injury during the surgery.
- Mogen – The doctor uses the Mogen clamp to pull your baby’s foreskin forward through the slit. The skin along the front surface of the instrument is then cut off.
4. The foreskin can be used afterward
Did you know that baby foreskins are sometimes used in antiaging and antiwrinkle creams? Other uses of your son’s excess penile skin include making baldness cures, skin grafts, or interferon. The foreskin can also be used for medical research. Some Jews prefer to bury the foreskin instead, whereas some hospitals dispose of it as medical waste.
5. The wound will heal within one to two weeks
Right after the procedure, you will notice that the tip of the organ looks red and may swell. There may also be a few yellow secretions, which are normal and indicate that the recovery is going well. These two symptoms should disappear gradually within seven to ten days. However, if they persist or get worse, you should contact your pediatrician immediately.
Here are some ways you can alleviate the discomfort and pain of your baby after circumcision:
- Talk with your doctor about giving the appropriate dose of infant paracetamol or ibuprofen to help ease the pain.
- Coat the area with petroleum jelly to reduce irritation.
- Use hypoallergenic products when bathing or cleaning the genitals.
- Expose the baby’s penis to as much air as possible to facilitate healing.
Baby circumcision can put your little one under a lot of stress and pain. It’s best to have the procedure carried out by a licensed and registered professional who specializes in this type of surgery. You should also be aware of the different methods for this practice and talk with your doctor about which one will be most beneficial for your boy.