Infant circumcision, a topic that is widely debated, holds both potential health and cultural significance. Before making a decision, it is important to understand the benefits and potential risks associated with it. In this discussion, we will delve into everything you need to know about circumcision, ranging from the techniques involved to the potential benefits and risks. So, let’s embark on this exploration together as we learn about circumcision and its various aspects.
What is circumcision?
Infant circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves removing the foreskin from the penis. It is a common practice for newborn boys. It often involves extending the foreskin with forceps, applying a circumcision device, and then excising the foreskin to complete the procedure.
Why do infants get circumcised?
Circumcision is performed for various reasons and offers several potential infant health benefits.
Minimize Risk of Urinary Tract Infections
Infants who undergo circumcision have a reduced risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). After removing the foreskin, the chances of accumulation of bacteria are prevented. It reduces the likelihood of UTIs during childhood.
Decreased Risk of Penile Health Problems
Circumcision may also help in the reduction of penile issues. It helps prevent conditions like phimosis, where the foreskin is too tight, making retraction difficult. Furthermore, balanoposthitis, inflammation of the foreskin and glans, can be avoided by foreskin removal.
Lower Risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Recent studies also proved that circumcision helps decrease acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STI) risks, such as HIV, herpes, and human papillomavirus (HPV). When the foreskin is removed, the area for infection is also reduced, which minimizes the risks.
Decrease in Risk of Prostate Cancer
Some studies have shown that circumcision helps minimize the risk of prostate cancer later in life. However, further research is needed to establish a definitive link between the two.
Easier Genital Hygiene
Circumcision simplifies genital hygiene for infants. Without a foreskin, retracting and cleaning under it is unnecessary. It also minimizes the potential risk of infections caused by poor hygiene practices.
What are the risks and complications of circumcision?
Circumcision is considered a safe procedure, but like any other surgery, it carries risks and potential complications. Here is a list of some of the risks and complications associated with circumcision:
Excessive bleeding can occur during or after the procedure. While minor bleeding is common and usually stops independently, severe bleeding may require medical intervention.
There is a risk of infection at the surgical site. However, infections can usually be prevented by maintaining proper hygiene and using sterile techniques during the procedure.
Removing too much or too little skin during circumcision can lead to complications. If the skin is removed thickly, it can cause discomfort or tightness during erection. If too little skin is removed, it may require revision surgery.
Pain and Discomfort
Pain is expected after the circumcision, but it is usually manageable with appropriate pain relief methods or medications. However, some individuals may experience prolonged or excessive pain.
Like any surgical procedure, circumcision can result in scarring. Most scars are minimal and fade over time, but excessive scarring or keloid formation can occur in rare cases.
What are the techniques of circumcision?
There are several techniques of circumcision; here are the 3 major techniques that are considered safe.
1. Plastibell Method
The Plastibell method is one of the most common and safest techniques used for circumcision. The procedure is as follows:
- After cleaning the penis, a plastic device called the Plastibell is placed over the glans.
- The foreskin is pulled over the Plastibell, and a suture is tied tightly around the foreskin to secure it.
- The excess foreskin outside the Plastibell is trimmed off.
- The Plastibell has a groove that allows for the circulation of blood.
- Over time, the foreskin dries up and falls off on its own, usually within a week or two.
2. Gomco Clamp
The Gomco clamp is also another technique used for circumcision. It involves some risks and essential to only done by the experts. Here is the following steps for Gomco Clamp:
- The penis is cleaned and prepped for the procedure.
- The foreskin is gently retracted, and a specially designed Gomco clamp is placed over the glans.
- The clamp is tightened, thereby cutting off the blood supply to the foreskin.
- The excess foreskin outside the clamp is trimmed off.
- The clamp remains in place for a few minutes to allow for hemostasis.
- Finally, the clamp is removed, and the wound is dressed sterilely.
3. Mogen Clamp
The Mogen clamp also used for circumcision, particularly in newborns. The steps involved are:
- After cleaning the penis, the foreskin is retracted.
- The Mogen clamp, a stainless steel clamp with a flat base and a hinged handle, is placed around the glans.
- The clamp is closed, cutting off the blood supply to the foreskin.
- The excess foreskin is then removed using a scalpel or scissors.
- The clamp is released, and the wound is closed using sutures or left to heal naturally.
It’s important to note that trained medical professionals should perform circumcision in a sterile environment to minimize risks and ensure proper healing
When to call the doctor after your infant circumcision?
If you notice any of the following signs after your infant’s circumcision, it is recommended to call the doctor:
- Your baby hasn’t urinated within 12 hours of the circumcision.
- You observe blood on the diaper that is larger than the size of a quarter.
- The redness or swelling around their penis becomes worse instead of improving.
- Signs of infection, such as pus, are present.
- Foul-smelling or cloudy drainage is coming from the tip of their penis.
- The plastic ring used during the circumcision hasn’t fallen off after two weeks.
Infant circumcision is a surgical procedure commonly performed for various reasons and potential health benefits. It involves the removal of the foreskin from the penis of a newborn baby. However, we can rephrase this sentence in the active voice to make it more direct and engaging.
It may minimize the risk of urinary tract infections, penile health problems, and sexually transmitted infections and simplify genital hygiene. However, it has some risks and complications, such as bleeding, infection, skin problems, pain, and scarring. Proper techniques and medical supervision play a crucial role in ensuring overall well-being. It is important for individuals to promptly report any concerning symptoms they may experience to a doctor.