What you should know before circumcision

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What you should know before circumcision

There are a number of things you should take note of before circumcision surgery is performed. In this article we will cover as much as possible so you know how to prepare before circumcision. Circumcision is a surgery that involves the removal of the penis’ foreskin that covers the tip. Althought there are alot of methods of circumcision, circumcisions are common practice around the world but tend to be less common in Europe and South America. 

The procedure typically occurs when the patient is a newborn and almost always done for personal or religious reasons. Circumcision in older children and adults is less common, but the same preparations and aftercare considerations still apply. Older children or adults may need to consider circumcision later in life to treat several conditions.

A circumcision patient may have the surgery because they cannot roll back your foreskin, also called phimosis; they may need the surgery because the foreskin remains stuck behind the penis head, also called paraphimosis. Balanitis, the swelling of the foreskin, and balanoposthitis, which is the inflammation of the tip and foreskin of the penis, are two more complications that could require a circumcision procedure. After surgery, these problems will go away.

In healthy newborn baby boys, there is no immediate medical need for circumcision. However, families will choose circumcision for their sons due to several reasons for their development and future sexual health. Some spiritual laws, as in Judaism and Islam, require that newborn boys be circumcised. But families can choose to have their son circumcised for other reasons, such as aesthetic preference, the desire for sons to “look like” their fathers, and reduce the risk of some health conditions further down the line.

In Judaism, circumcision is called a brit milah and is performed when the baby is newborn, only about eight days old, as part of a religious ceremony. A mohel will operate, who has received spiritual and surgical training to perform ritual circumcision.

In Islamic culture, circumcision is called khitan and can occur as part of a religious ceremony. In other parts of the world, circumcisions happen in a hospital setting. In most Islamic countries, the family elects for a khitan during their son’s infancy, but families may wait until the boy enters puberty.

What family should know before going for circumcision

Despite rumours to the contrary, circumcision does not affect an otherwise healthy man’s fertility. There are mixed reports results from the few studies on how circumcision affects sexual pleasure.

Pros of circumcision:

  • Reduced risk of infant urinary tract infections
  • Reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including the female-to-male transmission of HIV
  • Decreased risk of cervical cancer and some conditions in female partners
  • Could help prevent balanitis, balanoposthitis, paraphimosis, and phimosis
  • Increases the potential for good genital hygiene

Cons of circumcision:

  • Could be seen as undesirable by romantic partners
  • Although conventional pain management medications or topical numbing agents (ask your doctor for recommendations) effectively treat this minimal pain, it may cause pain.
  • May cause rare complications, including cutting too much or too little foreskin, plus the risk of infection or excessive bleeding.
You can read more on circumcision pros and cons with our in-depth article with the link.

The circumcision procedure

During the circumcision, the doctor removes the skin covering the penis’ head or the “foreskin.” They will do this by pushing the skin away from the penis’ head, trimming the skin, and then sewing down the edges. Your doctor may use any one of several ways to do this. You will have some small stitches that will dissolve on their own. Most adult men go home the same day as the surgery, although they must rest from physical activity, including sex.

Circumcisions are to be done safely and in a sterile environment by a doctor. The type of doctor can vary because pediatricians, obstetricians, family medicine doctors, surgeons, and urologists are all known to perform circumcisions. Circumcisions for religious reasons will often happen at the hand of spiritual professionals designated to perform the procedure.

When the circumcision involves a baby, the patient will lay on his back with his arms and legs secured. A gentle baby anesthetic is given via injection or perhaps using a less-invasive numbing cream.

There are several techniques for performing circumcision. The choice of method depends on the physician’s preference and experience.

The three primary circumcision methods are the Gomco clamp, the Plastibell device, and the Mogen clamp. Each tool works about the same, by cutting off circulation to the foreskin to prevent bleeding while cutting the foreskin. The circumcision procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes when using one of these devices or methods. Each methods has their different ‘before circumcision’ caution to take note, please consult your doctor for more details.

Some families will have this surgery performed on their young sons for religious or social reasons. When performed on a very young child, the pain and recovery are relatively minimal and can be overseen by them. In an adult circumcision patient, the individual can often return to work and routine within one week, depending on their job and how strenuous their tasks are.

Surgery can be stressful, but his information will help you understand what you can expect and safely prepare for surgery. If you don’t follow these directions, your surgery could be at risk of cancellation due to the potential for less than ideal patient outcomes.

  • Follow the doctor’s instructions strictly, including abstaining from food and drink in the hours before the operation. Brush your teeth and take your medicines, but do so with just a sip of water and not a cup.
  • Bathe before you come in for your surgery; however, do not apply lotions, colognes, or deodorants.
  • Remove all jewellery and piercings, and leave those at home.
  • Avoid putting your contact lenses in if you wear them, and opt just for glasses.

What circumcision patients should be aware of before circumcision

Here’s what adult circumcision patients should be aware of, before circumcision at the hospital or surgery centre.

  • Remember to bring a government-issued picture ID.
  • Circumcision takes about one hour and is considered non-invasive, out-patient surgery.
  • The area will be prepared for surgery, including shaving and marking the location for precision.
  • Anesthesia will be provided, and the anesthetist may make you sleep, or they may numb the area with a local numbing agent.
  • Anesthesia and pain medicines will make it unsafe for the patient to operate a vehicle.
  • You will receive more specific instructions about recovery from your doctor, including diet, post-operative wound care, and when it will be appropriate to return to sexual activity.

Before Circumcision and aftercare.

Circumcision is most typical to perform when newborns are still in the hospital. Different practitioners will perform circumcision in newborns, including doctors and designated spiritual leaders in some cases. If you are a parent choosing to have this procedure performed on your newborn, you must sign a consent form before circumcision surgery.

For older children and adults, the procedure occurs in a hospital or surgery centre, and the patient can go home that day and return to work very shortly after.

For circumcision patients and their parents, this simple surgery can be a little stressful. Here is what you need to know beforehand to prepare for the surgery, plus what to expect during the aftercare process.

  • Schedule a ride home because anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home independently.
  • Understand what modality of surgery is planned, along with its unique risks and benefits—no procedure is guaranteed 100% safe.
  • Report all medications and health conditions before the surgery, even if you don’t think it is pertinent to this particular operation. Some medicines increase the risk of bleeding, and others don’t pair well with an anesthetic.
  • Report all-natural health products being taken, as even these can increase the risks during the surgery. If you need to stop taking some of these medicines, the doctor will tell you how far you must abstain before the surgery.

As with so many surgeries and medical procedures, follow-up care is a crucial part of your treatment and safety.

Do not panic if the penis appears slightly red or bruised for a few days after the circumcision; this is normal.

  • Wash the penis and change the dressings at the appropriate intervals—usually once per day.
  • Return to work and daily activities as long as they are not physically strenuous.
  • Do not over-do it with pain medications; take only as necessary and recommended by a doctor.
  • Avoid jogging or weight lifting, but do get some exercise.
  • Use walking as a gentle way to engage in exercise during your recovery. Start with a shorter length and increase your distance each day.
  • For adults, avoid sexual activity for up to four weeks.
  • Parents tending to a newborn circumcision patient keep the area clean and unrestricted by tight diapers during the recovery.
  • Attend all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you have problems. It is essential to call your doctor immediately if you become ill or infected after surgery. If there is excessive bleeding, ripping of the skin or stitches, or if the pain is prolonged or unbearable.
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