Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin, the skin that covers the head of the penis. This surgical procedure is normally done shortly after birth, before mom and baby leave the hospital to go home.
No. The foreskin isn't necessary for normal penile function. It can provide extra protection to the penis, but it's not needed to function.
Most parents who choose circumcision do so for cultural or religious reasons. The majority of men in western countries are circumcised today, so it's a very common procedure. Many parents want to circumcise their son because they want their son to look the same as his father in terms of genitalia.
It's also common for parents to opt for circumcision for cleanliness reasons. Many parents feel that it's easier to keep a circumcised penis clean without the extra skin there.
There are also medical reasons to consider circumcision, including:
Yes. It's possible to have circumcision done later in life. However, later circumcision — especially in teen years or adulthood — will require a longer healing time and longer overall recovery.
The circumcision procedure is quite quick; they usually take anywhere from five to 20 minutes. The baby will be comfortable during the procedure thanks to an anesthesia that's safe for infants.
After circumcision, the genitals may have a brownish hue due to the cleansing liquid applied prior to surgery. This will wear off in the next few days.
The skin of the penis may look raw, and it's normal to see some minor swelling.
Gauze may be applied after the circumcision, and this will usually come off during the next urination. You may need to place fresh sterile gauze on the penis afterwards.
For a few days, the circumcision site will have a small amount of yellowish film. This is an indicator of healing and is completely normal.
Around a week after the circumcision, the penis will appear healthy again.
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