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Dr. Jean-Philippe Bercier BSc, MD, CCFP

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Introduction

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Preparing

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Operation

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Recovery

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1 – Introduction

Circumcision is a simple procedure that involves the removal of foreskin that sheathes the head of the penis.

Baby circumcision is commonly performed early in life. Ideally, babies undergo circumcision within the first two weeks of birth, but the procedures may be performed in the first three months.

The Canadian Paediatric Society acknowledges the potential benefits of circumcision (see below) but stops short of routine recommendation for newborn babies. Thus, after weighing the benefits and risks, religious and cultural preferences, you and your partner need to decide if you wish to move ahead with circumcision for your son.

Potential circumcision benefits include reduced risk of urinary tract infections, reduced risk of phimosis*, reduced risk of penile cancer, reduced risk of sexually transmitted infections, reduced cervical cancer risk for women in relationships with circumcised men , and better hygiene.

*Phimosis is a scarring and thickening of the foreskin that prevents retraction over the glans.

Risks

  • Acute complications of neonatal circumcision include adhesions released by simple retraction, minor bleeding (~ 1/500), local infection (~ 1/4000) and an unsatisfactory cosmetic result (~ 1/500).
  • The most common late complication of circumcision is meatal stenosis (2% to 10%), which may require surgical dilation. It is possible to prevent meatal stenosis by applying petroleum jelly to the glans in the six months that follow circumcision. It is common to see partial re-adherence of penile skin to the glans. Such adhesions often resolve spontaneously by puberty. When they are extensive, however, they may benefit from treatment with topical steroid preparation. Surgical lysis is rarely required.
  • Surgical procedures, including circumcision, are painful. Even with procedural analgesia, individuals experience postprocedural pain that must be treated. Pain can be reduced by using Tylenol, EMLA cream and local anesthesia with lidocaine.
  • Severe complications, such as partial amputation of the penis and death from hemorrhage or sepsis, are very rare occurrences and never happened in our practice.
  • The foreskin covers the glans and has an abundance of sensory nerves. No medical study states that circumcision has a negative impact on sexual performance or satisfaction in relationships. It has been reported that some parents or older boys are unhappy with the cosmetic result, but no specific data from the literature to quantify this outcome could be found.

Contraindications

Circumcision procedures cannot be performed if your baby boy has an uncommon medical condition. These conditions include congenital abnormalities of the external genitalia such as hypospadias or bleeding disorders such as hemophilia. Additionally, we will not perform circumcision procedures if your infant is sick and unstable, has an active local skin irritation or diaper rash, or has active diarrhea.

Consultation

If you use the private health system, book an appointment via this website. We mention the cost for the procedure prior to choosing a clinic.