Circumcision: Everything You Need to Know

There is a lot of debate in the parenting community surrounding the topic of Circumcision. Of course, parents want to make the best decision possible for their child and educating yourself on the topic is an important first step.

Routinely, circumcision is performed within 10 days of your baby’s birth. In some cases, however, the procedure may be delayed. We at Western Michigan Urological Associates perform circumcision on infants as well as older children and adults.

What is Circumcision?

When males are born they are born with a foreskin around the head of the penis. Circumcision is the removal of this foreskin and may provide medical benefits and advantages when done properly. Complications with this surgical procedure are relatively low. If any problems do occur we are fully trained and highly experienced, so we can help minimize these concerns and treat it properly.

For newborn infants, the procedure takes about five to 10 minutes. A local anesthetic is given to lessen the pain. In order to make the best decision for you and your family, it is important to fully understand the procedure, along with its risks and benefits.

Why Newborns?

Many people wonder why this procedure is done so quickly after birth. This is because the penis goes through a rapid growth spurt during the first few months of life and may quickly become too large to safely remove the foreskin. It becomes more complicated and riskier in infants older than two months and in boys and men. For older children, the procedure is usually performed in an operating room under general anesthesia.

Health Benefits of Circumcision:

There are several advantages to circumcision. Circumcised infants are less likely to develop urinary tract infections, especially during their first year of life. Also, circumcised men are at a lower risk for penile cancer and circumcision may also help protect against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

Potential Risks of Circumcision:

As with any surgical procedure, circumcision is not without risks. Some of the risks associated with this procedure include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection and penile injury
  • Buried penis
  • Meatal stenosis (narrowing of the opening where urine leaves the body)
  • Skin bridges (improper healing of the skin on the head of the penis)
  • Chordee (curvature of the penis)
  • Poor cosmetic appearance

Regardless of your reasons for considering circumcision, we at Western Michigan Urological Associates want to work with you to find the best option for your family. Ask Your Primary Care Provider for a Referral.