What is a Circumcision?
Circumcision can be done due to religious or cultural beliefs, as a matter of family tradition, for personal hygiene and preventative health care or due to a medical need.
Circumcision Surgery Quick Summary
What is circumcision surgery?
The procedure is usually done on newborn infants but can also become necessary in older boys or adults due to medical problems with the foreskin such as:
- The foreskin being scarred and unable to retract. This is known as “phimosis”.
- Recurrent infections or inflammation of the penis.
- When the foreskin is too tight which cause pain or spraying when urinating.
- Recurring urinary tract infections.
Depending on the age of the patient, different techniques are used for circumcision, some include:
- Plastibell device method. Used for infants, this is a plastic ring device placed between the foreskin and the head of the penis (the glans). A suture is then tied around the foreskin over the plastic ring which cuts off the blood supply, then scissors are used to remove the foreskin. The plastic ring is left in place to assist the skin in reattaching and to prevent bleeding. The ring will fall off on its own a week after the procedure.
- Dorsal slit method. In this method, a small incision is made in the foreskin. This is sometimes used in conjunction with the Shield and Clamp methods to allow the devices to fit in place properly.
- Excision method. There are different types of excision methods, the most common being a sleeve resection. In this method, the foreskin is pulled over the head of the penis and a scalpel is used to make a circular incision into the foreskin which is being removed. The remaining foreskin is stitched to the shaft while healing takes place.
Where is it done?: Dr. Verma performs circumcision at Honeysuckle Day Hospital in Newcastle, a fully licensed and accredited day hospital.
Length of procedure: The procedure length varies depending upon age. For a newborn the procedure takes around 30 minutes, for an older boy or an adult male, the procedure can take up to an hour.
Type of anaesthesia: Local Anaesthesia, Twilight Sedation or General Anaesthesia.
Day surgery or inpatient stay?: Day Surgery
Costs vary depending upon the age of the patient, the time taken and method of the procedure and the type of anaesthesia. Dr Verma will discuss this at the time of your consultation.
The circumcision surgery consultation
Who is a good candidate for circumcision surgery?
Circumcision is suitable for newborns from around 10 days old and for older boys and adult males experiencing medical problems associated with the foreskin of the penis, or for adult males for aesthetic reasons.
Not sure if circumcision is necessary?
We advise booking a consultation with Dr. Verma. He will be able to discuss your concerns and provide you with all the information that will assist you in your decision.
What to expect during the consultation?
During the consultation, Dr. Verma will take a medical history and examine the penis and discuss the different circumcision methods that are suitable for ensuring your understanding of the procedure as well as the expected recovery time.
Circumcision Surgery Procedure
Where will the incisions/scars be?
As with all surgery, circumcision can leave scarring. The type of scar will be determined by the circumcision technique used but is less likely when circumcision is performed on infants. For older boys and adult males, there is a way to reduce scarring and Dr. Verma will be able to discuss this with you at the time of your consultation.
What type of Anaesthesia will be used?
The type of anaesthesia for circumcision is determined by the age of the patient. For infants, a local anaesthetic is either injected into the base of the penis or applied as a cream to the penis. For older boys and adult males, either Twilight Sedation or General Anaesthesia is recommended.
Circumcision is similar for older boys and adults. However, the procedure might need to be done under general anaesthesia, recovery might take longer and the risk of complications might be greater when done later in life.
What are the risks and complications of circumcision surgery?
With any surgical procedure, there are risks involved and most problems are easily treated and settle with time. Generally speaking, the surgery is quite safe.
General risks of any surgery include excessive bleeding, reaction to any of the medications (including anaesthesia), infection, poor healing or excessive scarring.
The occurrence of such complications depends mainly on whether you smoke, your general health status, how your body heals, as well as your post-operative recovery. Dr. Verma will discuss all risks and complications with you during a consultation, as well as techniques and medications which can minimize risks.
What are the side effects of circumcision surgery?
Although complications for circumcision are rare, the risks, side effects and complications become greater in older boys and adult males. The most common complications include:
- Bleeding and infection
- Discomfort and swelling
- An unsightly looking wound area for approximately 10 days after the procedure
- Permanent reduction in sensation in the head of the penis – particularly during intercourse
- Tenderness around the scar
Rarer sides effects can result in foreskin problems and can include:
- The foreskin is cut too short or too long
- The foreskin failing to properly heal
- The remaining foreskin reattaching itself to the end of the penis requiring minor remedial surgery
- Inadvertent injury to the penis
Recovery after Circumcision Surgery
Care of the penis circumcision area and wounds
You will be provided with detailed instructions by Finesse Cosmetic Surgery with regards to care of your sutures, wounds etc.
Downtimes vary depending upon the age of the patient, for infants it typically takes 7 – 14 days after circumcision for the penis to heal. The tip of the penis will often be sore at first and may appear red, swollen or bruised.
For older boys and adult males, the downtime is usually 3 – 4 weeks. For adult males you will need at least 1 week from work and some lifestyle modifications for up to 4 weeks including showering and bathing routines and avoiding strenuous exercise and aerobic activities, lifting heavy weights, running, jogging or cycling. Sexually active males will be unable to masturbate or have intercourse for a minimum of 6 weeks after circumcision.
When will you see results?
This will depend upon the technique used. Dr. Verma will discuss this with you at the time of your consultation.
What will be your follow up schedule?
Dr. Verma will see you one week post the operation and then organize subsequent follow-ups according to how you recover. All routine follow up visits are bulk billed. Revision surgery for any complications carries an extra charge.
Similar to your consultation visit (see above), Dr. Verma will be taking photographs of the operation site in order to document its healing during follow up visits.
How long do the effects of circumcision surgery last for?
Circumcision is permanent. In the rare instance that the foreskin reattaches, a minor remedial surgical procedure will be necessary.