Removing the foreskin from the penis (the piece of skin covering the head of the penis) can be done for a variety of reasons: recurrent infections under the foreskin (balanitis), urinary tract infection, fungal infections, pain with sex or pain with urination, difficulty in urination, bleeding, skin cracking and cosmesis.
This procedure is performed in both children and adults. In adults, the procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure with a general anesthetic usually. This means that the patient would be admitted to the hospital for the day-procedure, then go to the operating room, receive a general anesthetic and the procedure performed. The circumcision usually takes about 20 minutes or so, and then you would be wake up in the post anesthetic recovery unit where you will be monitored, and then discharged home if you are well.
When the foreskin is removed, there are sutures placed in a ring around the head of the penis in order to put the two edges of skin back together. These sutures will absorb by themselves after about 8-12 weeks; there is no need for removing of these stitches by the Surgeon. There will be a dressing on the penis after the surgery, but this will likely fall off when walking or peeing, and this is okay. Keep the incision line clean and dry. Discharge instructions include keeping active, keep the incision dry, avoid sexual activity for 2 weeks or until healing has occurred, avoid strenuous activity for a day or so postop, avoid baths or hottubs or any activity where you are soaking the suture line as this will result in the sutures breaking prematurely. Followup with your Urologist occurs between 6 weeks and 3 months postop in the clinic, earlier if required.
Potential complications of circumcision include: bleeding postop, infection, suture line breakdown with gaps in the suture line, skin necrosis, penile necrosis, urethral injury and stricture formation, impotence, infertility, and pain. These potential risks are very low but not zero and as per any procedure, should be considered prior to undertaking this specific procedure.
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