During the procedure

Circumcision can be done at a clinic or hospital by a trained physician. The procedure typically lasts for 5 to 10 minutes.

The doctor will first clean the penis then numb the area with a local anesthetic. The doctor will often give a general anesthetic that puts the baby to sleep for babies older than 2 to 3 months. The doctor will then place a clamp over the head of the penis and remove the foreskin using a scalpel or scissors. The penis is bandaged with petroleum jelly and gauze to prevent it from rubbing against any surfaces.

After the procedure

Your baby will stay in the hospital for a few hours to ensure that there are not any serious complications. You can then take your baby home. The surgical site takes about 1 week to start healing.

It is normal to feel these side effects after this procedure, such as:

  • reddish brown appearance of the groin, penis, and scrotum (due to the skin cleanser that was used before the procedure)
  • slight bleeding
  • slight pain in the penis
  • slight swelling of the penis
  • thin yellow film forming over circumcision site

You may wish to gently wash the penis with warm water with each diaper change, pat dry, and apply a layer of petroleum jelly for protection. Ask your doctor for further information on how to care for your baby after the procedure.

If general anesthesia was used before the surgery, you (or your child) will be assigned to a hospital recovery room immediately after the surgery. As the anesthesia wears off, you (or your child) may feel sore, groggy, or nauseous. Nurses will be available to assist you.

After the anesthesia wears off, you (or your child) will either be discharged from the hospital or required to stay overnight, at which point you (or your child) will be moved to a regular ward for the rest of your stay. Before you (or your child) are discharged, the doctor or nurse will explain the steps you need to take to complete the recovery at home.

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The contents of this health site are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition.

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