What is circumcision?

Circumcision is a procedure to remove the foreskin of the penis which is tissue that surrounds the tip or the glans of the penis.

When would you advice a circumcision be done?

Typically circumcisions are done on infants for religious or cultural reasons but occasionally adults will also have circumcisions done. These could be done for cosmetic reasons and possibly to prevent infections. Occasionally, circumcisions are also done because patients have developed phimosis, which is tightening of the foreskin which prevents it from being retracted over the penis. Phimosis can make urination difficult and may make sex painful.

Are circumcisions very painful?

Circumcisions are usually done under sedation and local anesthesia in the hospital. Patients may have mild pain that usually is not very significant after the circumcision.

What else can I expect after circumcision?

We advise patients to wait until the incision has healed fully prior to intercourse. This usually takes about 1 month. There may be some minor loss of sensation because of the skin removed has many sensitive nerve ending and occasionally there is some over-sensitivity in the glans of the tip of the penis after the circumcision.

What other complications can occur after circumcision?

Complications include decreased sensation, bleeding, infection, and some mild pain as mentioned.

What other options are there for treatment of phimosis besides circumcision?

An alternative to circumcision may be steroid creams for softening of the tight foreskin, an incision of the foreskin (dorsal slit) without removing it which allows the foreskin to retract more easily or a partial circumcision where some foreskin is removed but not all of it.


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