Munson Health
 
Newborn Circumcision

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What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

  • The doctor will carefully examine your baby. This is to make sure your baby is in good health. The penis will be examined for any abnormalities.
  • Blood and/or urine tests may be done.
  • Your baby may be given a pacifier to suck on. The pacifier will have some sugar water on it. This has been shown to decrease pain in infants.

Anesthesia

The type of anesthesia may depend on where the circumcision is done. Two common approaches include:
  • Cream—A cream may be applied to the penis. This cream will help to numb the area. It is often done about 60-90 minutes before the circumcision.
  • Nerve block—This is a medication injected near the penis. The medication will block the nerve that runs to the penis. This will make the entire penis numb. It may be used in a hospital setting.

Description of the Procedure

The baby will need to be very still during the circumcision. The baby may be carefully restrained on an infant board or someone will hold the baby. The anesthesia will be applied.
Once the area is numb the doctor will begin. The foreskin will be pulled away from the penis. Some parts of the foreskin may still be attached to the penis. The doctor will sweep these attachments away. The extra foreskin will then be cut away. It can be removed a number of ways:
  • A simple scalpel may be used.
  • Special devices may be used. These devices make sure there is an even cut. The device also clamps the blood vessels. Examples of this device include the Gomco clamp, Plastibell device, or Mogen clamp.
Stitches may be needed. They will be used to sew the remaining bit of foreskin into place. Petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment will be smeared on the penis. A bandage may be applied. A Plastibell device, if used, will be left in place instead of a bandage. The Plastibell will fall off on its own.

How Long Will It Take?

About 15–30 minutes

Will It Hurt?

Your baby will have some discomfort. The anesthesia should minimize pain.

Post-procedure Care

After the procedure, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions . Your doctor may ask you to:
  • Change the bandage and clean the area at every diaper change.
  • Apply petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment to the area. This will help keep the diaper or bandage from sticking to the penis.
There may be a lot of swelling of the penis. You may also notice a clear scab over the area. The penis should be healing well within 7-10 days of the circumcision. If a Plastibell was used, it should fall off on its own within 10 days.
There may be a lot of swelling of the penis. You may also notice a clear scab over the area. The penis should be healing well within 7-10 days of the circumcision. If a Plastibell was used, it should fall off on its own within 10 days.
 

RESOURCES

Familydoctor.org—The Academy of Family Physicians
http://familydoctor.org/

Kids Health
http://kidshealth.org/

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

AboutKidsHealth
http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/

Caring for Kids
http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/

 

References


American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/caring-for-newborns/infant-care/circumcision.html . Accessed July 25, 2012.


American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Task Force on Circumcision. Circumcision policy statement. Pediatrics .1999;103:686-93.


Brady-Fryer B, Wiebe N, Lander JA. Pain relief for neonatal circumcision. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Review . 2004;3.


Circumcision. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated October 2012. Accessed July 25, 2012.


Leef KH. Evidence-based review of oral sucrose administration to decrease the pain response in newborn infants. Neonatal Network . 2006; 25(4):275-284.

 

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