Vivek Rege
Pediatric Surgeon & Pediatric Urologist, B J Wadia Hospital For Children, Hurkisondas Hospital, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, India
First Created: 12/08/2000  Last Updated: 08/01/2015

Patient Education

What is Circumcision?

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin [the skin and mucosal tissue that covers the glans (head) of the penis].

What are the reasons to perform a Circumcision?

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

When should a Circumcision be done?

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 for Circumcision. It is easier to maintain penile hygiene once the foreskin 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.

If Circumcision involves removal of the foreskin, what is the foreskin there for?

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 foreskin protects against abrasions from diapers and feces.

Throughout 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 foreskin to naturally stimulate each other.

What are the risks of performing a Circumcision?

Circumcision may cause.

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

Circumcision Circumcision 2015-08-01
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