CIRCUMCISING YOUR BABY BOY

By Dr. E.J. Tarr

WHAT IS CIRCUMCISION:

Circumcision is a small operation whereby part of the foreskin is removed to permanently expose the head of the penis. It is usually performed 7 days to 4 weeks after birth and is performed under LMX4 Cream anaesthetic.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES:

Studies show conflicting results. Several potential benefits include a reduced risk of urinary tract infections and possibly of sexually transmitted diseases in men, including HIV. It may also protect against penile cancer in later in life.

Latest data suggests 80-100% reduce risks of developing prostate cancer by age 60 in men who have been circumcised as infants or children.

RISKS OF CIRCUMCISION:

Short Term

Bleeding and infection are the most common problems and occur in 1-500/1-1000 cases. Bleeding is usually evident at the time of the circumcision and is treated with pressure to the area. Infection is rare and may not be evident until 24-48 hours after the procedure. Some redness and swelling however until the Plastibell falls off is not abnormal.

HOW DO I CARE FOR MY BABY AFTER CIRCUMCISION?

Some swelling of the penis is normal after circumcision and the Plastibell will take 3-8 days, even up to 14 days, to completely fall off. Normal daily bathing of the baby is okay. Apply the Vaselinee ointment you have been given at your circumcision visit to the top of the penis and Plastibell device morning and night. If the Plastibell device has not fallen off by 14 days after circumcision, please contact me. Signs of infection include a high temperature with redness spreading beyond the penis, swelling, and discharge of the entire penis.

When the Plastibell falls off, continue applying Vaseline ointment morning and night for the next 2 weeks. Your baby will then need to be reviewed by me 3 weeks after circumcision. At that visit I will demonstrate how to gently retract the shaft skin back from the head of the penis and ensure no smegma collects. You should then ideally continue this procedure daily at bath time for the following 2 weeks. Long term care of the circumcision will be discussed at your 3-week post circumcision visit.

PAIN RELIEF:

You can give your baby Infant Panadol Elixer 0.3 – 0.5 ml (6-8 drops) if needed once the LMX4 anaesthetic cream is wearing off, (usually 4-6 hours after the circumcision). This can be repeated 6 hours later. If more than this is needed, please contact Dr. Tarr.