What is a circumcision?
A circumcision is an operation to remove your foreskin.
Circumcisions are usually recommended for medical reasons, such as tightening of the foreskin (phimosis), balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO), pain during sex and infections that keep coming back.
Are there any alternatives to a circumcision?
If BXO is suspected, a circumcision is the only dependable way to cure the condition.
For other conditions, a dorsal slit operation or a preputioplasty may be recommended.
What does the operation involve?
The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about 30 minutes.
Your surgeon will remove the foreskin and seal off any small blood vessels. They will stitch the two edges of skin together (see figure 1).
What complications can happen?
1 General complications
- Infection of the surgical site (wound)
- Unsightly scarring
2 Specific complications
- Difficulty passing urine
- Developing an ulcer at the tip of your penis
- Narrowing of the opening of your urethra
- Not enough foreskin is removed
- Too much foreskin is removed
- Damage to your urethra
- Reduced pleasure from sex
- Injury to the end of your penis
How soon will I recover?
You should be able to go home the same day or the day after. Your penis will usually look swollen and bruised, and may feel sore for the first week.
To start with, rest and wear loose underwear. Do not have sex for three weeks.
Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.
A circumcision is an operation to remove the foreskin.
Author: Prof Simon Parsons DM FRCS (Gen. Surg.)
Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.