What is Circumcision?

Circumcision is the surgical excision of the foreskin, which refers to the skin that covers the tip of the penis. According to recent figures, it is a widespread practice in the United States, parts of Africa, and the Middle East, but circumcision is less common in Europe and other regions.

Why is it Done?

The operation is usually performed on a newborn for personal or religious purposes. However, circumcision can also be performed on older children and adults for similar purposes. Additionally, circumcision may be necessary to treat a variety of conditions in older children or adults. These conditions may include:

  • Balanitis (inflammation of the foreskin)
  • Balanoposthitis (swelling of the penis’s foreskin and the tip)
  • Phimosis (failure of the foreskin to retract)
  • Paraphimosis (failure of a retracted foreskin to get back to its normal position)

Circumcision is not medically necessary in stable newborns. Families may, however, opt to have their sons circumcised for a variety of reasons. Religious practice is one of the most common explanations. Both Judaism and Islam have religious laws that require the circumcision of newborn boys. Other reasons parents may choose to have their newborns circumcised include:

  • Personal preference
  • Cosmetic preference
  • Reduced risk of some diseases as a result
  • The urge of certain fathers to make their sons look like them

It is also important to understand that circumcision there are certain congenital abnormalities that can keep babies from being circumcised, including:

  • Hypospadias – the urethra opens below the normal position
  • Chordee – downward curvature of the penis
  • Buried penis – the penis is concealed by pubic and scrotal fat

Benefits and Drawbacks of Circumcision

Circumcision of newborn males is often recommended for health reasons. However, the majority of these health concerns aren’t significant until early adulthood. Circumcision is a decision that should be made by the parents or by the child, when he is older. 

Contrary to popular belief, circumcision has little impact on a man’s fertility, and the little research conducted on how circumcision affects sexual satisfaction have yielded mixed results. Some researchers discovered no impact, whereas others found an increase in sensitivity.

Dr. Lazare of Lazare Urology Center in Brooklyn and Queens, NY, can help parents better understand the advantages and disadvantages of circumcision. 

Benefits of Circumcision

There are several benefits of circumcision that parents may consider before making the decision to have their son undergo the procedure, including:

  • Reduces the likelihood of urinary tract infections in children.
  • Reduces the risk of penile cancer, despite this cancer being uncommon and increasingly rarer for reasons that seem not to be related to circumcision.
  • Reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, for instance, HIV transmission from female to male.
  • Lowers the risk of cervical cancer and several infections in female partners.
  • Prevents balanoposthitis, phimosis, balanitis, and paraphimosis.
  • It makes proper genital hygiene easier to maintain.

Risks of Circumcision

The most common complications linked to circumcision include infection and bleeding. Anesthesia-related side effects have also been recorded in children and adults who experience circumcision. However, circumcision can cause problems with the foreskin in rare cases, including:

  • The foreskin might be cut too long or short.
  • The foreskin might fail to heal properly.
  • The remainder foreskin may reattach to the end of the penis, requiring a surgical repair.

If you have a blood-clotting disorder, circumcision may not be an option. Circumcision may also be inappropriate for premature babies that need medical attention in the hospital nursery as well as babies born with penis defects.

How to Prepare for Circumcision

Circumcision is sometimes performed on newborns when they are still in the hospital and is performed by various professionals, including pediatricians, obstetricians, and urology specialists. Parents who decide to circumcise their sons will be asked to sign a consent form.

The operation is typically done as an outpatient procedure in a hospital or surgical center for older children and adults, which means the person being circumcised will be able to return home the same day. Still, proper consent is required.

If you are seeking circumcision in New York, contact Lazare Urology. Dr. Lazare will discuss with you the benefits and complications of the procedure before the operation.

What to Expect

  • During The Procedure

Circumcision of newborns is commonly performed in the hospital nursery, typically within 10 days of birth. The child will be placed on his back with his arms and legs restrained for the procedure. 

An anesthetic will be injected into the base of the penis or applied as a cream to the surrounding area. Your doctor will secure the penis with a special clamp or plastic band, and remove the foreskin. Afterward, the penis will be loosely wrapped in gauze and coated with an ointment, such as a topical antibiotic or petroleum jelly. The procedure usually lasts 10-30 minutes.

Circumcision for older boys and adults is similar. However, when performed later in life, the operation may require general anesthesia, recovery may take longer, and the possibility of complications may be higher.

  • Follow-up And Recovery After The Procedure

The penis typically takes seven to 10 days to heal. Penile bruising, swelling, and discomfort are expected, and antibiotics are usually prescribed during the post-op period. At first, the tip of the penis may be sore and may appear red, irritated, or wounded. A small amount of yellow fluid can also be visible on the end of the penis. If your child becomes fussy as the anesthetic wears off, carry him gently, taking care not to exert pressure on the penis. 

When the penis heals, it is OK to wash it. Apply a strip of petroleum jelly to the penis’s tip to prevent it from sticking to the diaper, for newborns, and remove the bandage at each diaper change. Replace your baby’s diaper regularly, and make sure it is loosely fastened. 

If a plastic ring is used rather than a bandage, it may fall off on its own after around a week. When the penis has healed, wash it with soap and water as you normally would. Adult men should wear loose-fitting briefs and avoid sexual activity for 3 weeks.

Consult Your Doctor

As highlighted earlier, circumcision-related complications are rare. See your doctor if you or your child experience:

  • Urination does not return to normal after 12 hours of circumcision.
  • The plastic ring stays in place two weeks or longer after the circumcision.
  • There is continuous bleeding.
  • There is a foul-smelling discharge from the tip of the penis.

Contact Lazare Urology

Dr. Lazare is one of the few board-certified urologists and skilled surgeons across New York City with the necessary expertise to perform safe and effective circumcisions. If you have any concerns regarding circumcision in Brooklyn and Queens, NY, and wish to learn more, contact Lazare Urology today at (718) 568-7516 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lazare.