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Is Circumcision Done After Birth?

One of the common questions your pediatrician may ask after your son’s birth is whether you want your child to be circumcised or not. There is a lot of debate about the benefits of circumcision in recent years. The general agreement of healthcare providers is that there are much more benefits of circumcision than risks.

Circumcision is a simple procedure that involves the surgical removal of the foreskin present on the tip of the penis. It is usually done in the first week after the baby’s birth in the circumcision clinic.

What are these benefits, and why should circumcision be done after birth? What is the procedure of circumcision for infants?

If you are considering circumcising your infant, keep reading to find the answers to these questions.

Benefits of Circumcision:

Many people circumcise their infants for religious and cultural purposes, and some do it for health benefits.

The following are some benefits of circumcision:

  •       Prevention of Penile Cancer
  •       Prevention of urinary tract infections
  •       Minimum risk of developing penis swelling and infection
  •       Minimum risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases
  •       Minimum risk of developing cervical cancer in female spouse

Prevention of urinary tract infections is a widely known benefit for infants.

Why should you circumcise your child?

Generally, a person can go for circumcision at any age in his life. But, healthcare providers recommend that parents circumcise their baby boys in the initial days of their birth.

There are some benefits of circumcising the child immediately after birth:

  •       Newborn babies can overcome circumcision pain more easily than adults or older children.
  •       Newborn circumcision is a low-risk procedure.
  •       Older children will get uncomfortable with the surgical process and will be afraid of it.
  •       If a child’s health condition can cause urinary tract infections in infants, doctors will recommend circumcision.

Circumcision is an optional surgery and a lot of people do not go for it. But, having this surgery will protect your child from a lot of diseases in life.

When should you not circumcise your child?

There are certain medical conditions in which your doctor will not circumcise your child. 

These medical conditions are:

  •       If the child has hypospadias in which a urinary opening is developed along the shaft of the penis, doctors don’t go for circumcision. In it, the doctor uses the foreskin as part of reconstruction surgery.
  •       The baby is born prematurely.
  •       The baby has some health issues.

Circumcision Procedure:

Following are the circumcision steps that will tell you about the whole procedure:

  •       All the clothing of your child will be removed.
  •       The baby will be most probably placed in a restraining device so that he doesn’t wiggle around during the procedure.
  •       The practitioner may give your child a pacifier dipped in sugar water. It will soothe him.
  •       Practitioners may give your child 1 to 2 types of local anesthesia. They may inject an anesthetic, or apply a topical cream to numb the penis.
  •       In a few cases, the healthcare provider may place a surgical drape over the baby. In it, only the penis will be exposed.
  •       Now, the healthcare provider may attach a clamp (Gomco or Mogen Clamp) or ring to the penis (Plastibell Device).
  •       The healthcare provider will use surgical tools to remove the penis’s skin, exposing the end of the penis.
  •       In the end, the doctor will add ointment to the penis and cover it with loose gauze.

The whole process will take less than 15 minutes, and the baby can return to the parents after some observations.

Child’s Care after Circumcision:

Baby’s penis will take 7-10 days to heal properly. During this time, you should take care of your baby’s penis so that it can heal properly.

You should clean the area with warm water after a bowel movement, avoid using baby wipes, and rub the area aggressively. Let the area get dry, and then apply Vaseline to it.

You should change the dressing every time you change the diaper. Keep the diaper a bit loose so that the penis can heal.

Doctors may recommend some topical creams or infant pain medications. Increased breastfeeding can also soothe your infant.

Medical Conditions to Call the Doctor:

It is normal to see a spot of bleeding on a diaper or a yellowish discharge. Some swelling and a clear crust on the penis for a few days are also normal. But, if there is severe bleeding or more swallowing, you should call the doctor.

If a quarter of the pamper is full of blood, call your practitioner. If you observe ongoing bleeding, put firm pressure with a washcloth on the area for several minutes.  If the bleeding doesn’t stop, visit the emergency room.

If the baby gets a fever, doesn’t urinate in the first 6-8 hours after surgery, or the plastic bell (if used) doesn’t fall off after 10-12 days, call the doctor.

Key Takeaways:

Circumcising your infant has its health benefits. If it takes place in a well-equipped circumcision clinic, there is minimum risk in it. Infants can easily pass this stage with proper care and advice from an expert practitioner.