CIRCUMCISION

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Last Updated : 12/21/2010
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Vivek Rege
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Q) What is Circumcision?
A) Circumcision is surgical removal of the foreskin [the skin and mucosal tissue that covers the glans (head) of the penis].

Q) What are the

reasons to perform a Circumcision

?
A) Circumcision is routinely performed for cultural or religious reasons.
The common medical grounds for which Circumcision is performed are: -
1) Phimosis or tight foreskin (other modes of treatment for phimosis include – steroid creams, stretching & preputioplasty).
2) Infection of gangrene of the foreskin

Q) When should a Circumcision be done?
A) Though lots of infants are circumcised at birth due to religious grounds, there are no valid reasons as to when to do a Circumcision. Though Circumcision is known to prevent penile cancer, it is an extremely rare form of cancer, which occurs, in older men. To maintain penile hygiene was another reason to Circumcision. It is easier to maintain penile hygiene once the fore skin is removed, but gently rinsing the genital area while bathing is sufficient in an intact penis.
Hence, Circumcision is advised only on definite medical grounds or on religious or cultural issues.

Q) If Circumcision involves removal of the fore skin, what is the foreskin there for?
A) In children, the foreskin is fused to the glans at birth and will separate over a variable period of time after the first few years. Before the child becomes toilet trained, the fore skin protects against abrasions from diapers and feces.
Throughout the life, the foreskin keeps the glans soft and moist and protects it from trauma and injury. The foreskin provides ample loose skin for the penis to occupy when erect and allows the glans and fore skin to naturally stimulate each other.

Q) What are the

risks of performing a Circumcision

?

A) Circumcision may cause.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Injury to the glands.
- Infection.
- Surgical error, including removal of too much skin.
- Meatal stenosis (due to probable scarring).



Contributor Information and Disclosures Vivek Rege
Pediatric Surgeon & Pediatric Urologist, B J Wadia Hospital For Children, Hurkisondas Hospital, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, India


First Created : 12/8/2000
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