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Adult Male Circumcision


  • Adult male circumcision (ser-kum-SIZH-un) is a procedure where the prepuce (foreskin) of the penis is removed in males 19 years old and older. The prepuce is the roll of skin that covers the glans (head of the penis). It folds on itself to form a double layer. Adult male circumcision may be done to treat certain medical conditions that affect the penis. These conditions include phimosis (a tight foreskin that cannot be pulled over the glans), or inflammation (swelling) of the foreskin and glans. Foreskin tumors and frenulum tears (small sheet of skin joining the glans to the foreskin) may also require a circumcision. It may be done to decrease the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease (STD), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and cancer of the penis. It may also decrease the risk of getting a skin infection. Circumcisions may also be done for social, cultural, religious, or personal reasons.
  • Circumcision in adult males may be done on an out-patient basis or during a hospital stay. Caregivers may do a circumcision using a dorsal slit or sleeve technique. The dorsal slit technique is where a slit is made in the foreskin, which is then pulled back, and cut off. The sleeve technique is where cuts are made around the base of the foreskin and the inside of the foreskin forming a sleeve (tube), which is then pulled over the glans. Both techniques allow the glans and the opening through which urine and semen pass through to be exposed. The cut edges are then sewn together or sealed together with an adhesive (glue-like) substance. With adult male circumcision, conditions affecting the penis may be treated, and the risk for infections or diseases may be decreased.



  • Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your primary healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your primary healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Ask your caregiver when you should return to have your wounds checked and stitches removed.

Having sex:

You may need to wait 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure before you may be able to masturbate or have sexual intercourse (sex). You may feel awkward or uncomfortable when having sex for the first time after the procedure. These problems may not last long and most can be helped. Talk to your caregiver if you are worried, have concerns, or are having problems when having sex.

Rest when you need to while you heal after surgery.

Slowly start to do more each day. Return to your daily activities as directed.


  • Bathing and wound care: The bandages may be removed 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. When you are allowed to shower, carefully wash the incisions with soap and water everyday. Do not take a tub bath or get in a hot tub or whirlpool until your caregiver tells you it is OK. Ask your caregivers for more information about bathing and wound care.
  • Clothing: Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes, such as briefs, or tight-fitting shorts or pants.


  • You cannot make it to your next visit with your caregiver.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have trouble urinating.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • You have dizziness, nausea (upset stomach), or vomiting (throwing up).
  • You have problems with sexual intercourse (sex).
  • You have questions or concerns about your procedure, condition, or care.


  • Your urine has blood in it, becomes very cloudy and foul (bad) smelling, or you cannot urinate.
  • You have pain or swelling of the penis that does not decrease or go away after taking your pain medicine, or is getting worse.
  • You have swelling, redness, pain, blood, or drainage in or around your incision.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.