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Circumcision is a minor surgery to remove the part of the foreskin that covers the tip of the penis. The surgery itself can be done at any time, but is usually done while your infant son is within a day or two of being born and is still in the hospital.

Parents usually base this personal decision on religious, cultural, or medical reasons. Circumcision will prevent infections of the foreskin, since the foreskin is removed, and may slightly decrease the chance of penile cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, and, during the first year of life, urinary tract infections. Most of these can also be prevented by keeping the penis clean. These slight advantages need to be considered along with possible complications, pain, and the cost of the procedure.

Care after a circumcision includes frequent diaper changes and gently cleaning the area with water 2 times a day or whenever it becomes soiled. Using soap is usually not necessary. Petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment can be put on the incision after cleaning. This will keep the tissue soft during healing. If there is a bandage on the penis, it will need to be changed with every diaper change.

Disclaimer: This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

HIA File pedi3712.htm Release 13/2010

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