A circumcision is a simple operation that involves removing the foreskin from the penis and is performed for both medical and religious reasons. The foreskin is a sleeve of skin which covers the delicate end of the penis. Spire Clare Park Hospital carries out circumcisions on children aged three and above and adults.
Circumcision for medical reasons are usually carried out on older children or adults, however alternative treatments such as frenuloplasty are carried where possible. From birth the sleeve of the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis and around age three to four the sleeve gradually detaches itself. Medical problems may arise if the sleeve of the foreskin is too tight and does not easy pull back over the head of the penis. This can cause swelling or pain when a child tries to pass urine. Recurrent infection under the foreskin is another common reason for circumcision.
The procedure involves trimming away the narrow sleeve of the foreskin and stitching together the remaining skin edges with dissolvable stiches that do not need to be removed afterwards. A general anaesthetic will be used and patients usually stay in hospital as a day case or overnight.
After the operation it is likely the patient will experience some mild discomfort as the wound heals, which should be relieved using mild painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.
The wound will be covered with a moist dressing, secured in place using elastic net pants, which can usually be removed the next day. The full healing process can take four to six weeks.