Circumcision – Procedure and Care

Circumcision – Decision

During a circumcision, the doctor removes the foreskin on the penis. Immediately after the procedure, the area will be red and tender, but the tenderness should be almost gone by the third day. The scab on the incision will come off in 7 to 10 days. If your doctor uses a Plastibel ring, it should fall off in 14 days.

Circumcision could cause infection, bleeding or injury to your child’s penis or urinary duct. If you follow the doctor’s directions, however, these is little chance of a problem.

After your leave the hospital:

  • If a Plastibel ring was used: gently clean the area with warm water 3 times a day or whenever necessary. You do not need to use soap. After washing, apply the jelly or ointment suggested by your doctor to the area where the cut was made to keep it soft during healing. A black rim around the plastic ring is normal. Do not pull the ding off: this could cause bleeding.

  • If your baby has gauze bandage: first wet it thoroughly with warm water and then gently remove it. After the bandage is off, clean the area as instructed above.

Contact your doctor if: the ring does not fall off as quickly as your doctor said it would, the area where the cut was made is bleeding freely, the baby acts sick.

Seek immediate care if:

  • The baby’s urine comes out in dibbles or the urine stream is weak

  • The penis turns blue or black

  • The normal skin of the penis is tender or red

  • There is any pus on the penis

  • the baby develops a high temperature

Circumcision Care

1. Change your baby’s diaper as soon as it is dirty.
2. Gently clean the area with water.
3. Apply petroleum jelly or an antibacterial ointment to the penis during the first three to four days after the circumcision.
Avoid soap, lotion, powder and baby wipes until the penis has healed.
Don’t give your baby a tub bath until the circumcision heals and the umbilical cord stump falls off.
Call your doctor if: the baby’s penis has increased bleeding or drainage; your baby’s urine dribbles in a weak stream; or if the head of the penis is blue or black.
Signs of an infection include a temperature above 100 degrees F, an unpleasant smelling, yellowish-green discharge from the penis, swelling or increased redness.

Source: The PDR Family Guide, Encyclopedia of Medical Care (1997)