At a glance
Circumcision of your baby boy is a choice and often done to treat phimosis, a condition whereby the foreskin retracts, making the penis prone to inflammation and infection (lichen sclerosis). Also, many parents consider the procedure for religious reasons or hygienic purposes.
The benefits of having your baby circumcised are vast. Some of these advantages include:
- Lowered risk of penile cancer
- The procedure does not prevent HIV but lowers the risk of transmission
- Significantly minimises your baby’s likelihood of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs) that are quite common during childhood.
How to prepare for the procedure
Paediatric surgeons mainly specialise in carrying out circumcisions, but family paediatricians, urologists and general surgeons perform the procedure as well. Most newborns receive circumcision two days after being born.
There are two types of anaesthesia given, general and local. While your child is under anaesthesia, they will not feel anything, and also, a combination of anaesthesia minimises the use of general anaesthetic. The effects of anaesthesia work over four hours, providing pain relief.
There are also instructions on what to eat and drink before the surgery. The night before the procedure, your baby cannot eat or drink non-clear fluids or solids just after midnight, so they must avoid milk, pulp juices, formula, bubblegum, and sweets. Dr Maraj may allow apple juice up to two hours prior to the procedure.
What circumcision involves
Before extracting the hood or foreskin of the penis, that area of the body needs to be sterilised first. Dr Maraj will make use of delicate, fine sutures that dissolve after the procedure. The surgeon then bandages the penis to prevent infection. Circumcision is generally a day procedure.
What to expect post-procedure
Your child is likely to experience slight grogginess, which subsides in time. Instructions are provided on:
- Cleaning and wound management
- Watching out for signs of infection (High fever)
Risks & complications
While this is a common and general, safe procedure, complications may still occur. Guidelines and protocols will be followed to prevent complications such as infection, uneven foreskin length (may be revised at a later stage) and excessive blood loss, although techniques to minimise bleeding will be utilised. This is merely a basic guide, or Dr Maraj will be able to provide you with further instruction should you need it.
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