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Circumcision What to expect

MEDICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA 
Circumcision What to expect
What is circumcision?
Reasons for
What to expect
Risks

Routine circumcision is usually performed during the first 10 days (often within the first 48 hours) of a newborn's life.  Circumcision after the newborn period can be a more complicated procedure and usually requires general anesthesia.  Circumcision can be performed either in the hospital or, for some religious ritual circumcisions, at home. The procedure takes about five to 10 minutes.  Expect that the baby will cry during and for a short while after circumcision. 

During the procedure, the baby is placed on a special table and his legs and arms are restrained. An anesthetic should be used to lessen the pain. Various surgical techniques are used, but they follow the same steps:

  • The penis and foreskin are cleaned.
  • A special clamp is attached to the penis and the foreskin is removed.
  • Ointment and gauze often are placed over the cut to protect it from rubbing against the diaper.

A bandage with petroleum jelly may be placed over the head of the penis after surgery. In most cases, the skin will heal in 7-10 days.  The tip of the penis may seem raw at first, and you may notice a yellowish mucus or crust. This is normal. A small amount of bleeding also is common the first day or two. It's OK to wash the penis and change the bandage as it is healing. 

You can continue to apply a dab of petroleum jelly to the tip of the penis to keep it from sticking to the diaper. If there's a plastic ring instead of a bandage, it will drop off on its own - usually within a week.  Keep the area as clean as possible. Wash the baby's penis with soap and water every day. Change the diapers often so that urine and stool do not cause infection. Once the penis heals, wash it with soap and water during each bath. 

But what risks are involved with circumcision? Learn which signs might indicate problems after an infant circumcision in the Risks of Circumcision section that follows.

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Tags: circumcision, after surgery, infection, procedure, healing, surgery, period, penis, apply, urine, skin, head, healing after circumcision, circumcision pain, surgical procedure, anesthesia surgery, plastic surgery, normal period, baby ointment, baby diapers
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