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Adult Male Circumcision


What you need to know about a circumcision:

Circumcision is a procedure to remove the foreskin from your penis. The foreskin is the fold of skin that covers the tip of the penis.

Prepare for a circumcision:

  • Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare for the procedure. He or she will tell you what medicines to take or not take before your procedure. You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure.
  • Take a shower the morning of your procedure. Do not put on lotion. Make arrangements for someone to drive you home and stay for a day after your procedure.

What will happen during the procedure:

  • Your healthcare provider will give you a shot of numbing medicine at the base of your penis. Your healthcare provider may give you another shot further up your penis. The medicine will keep you from feeling pain during your procedure but you will be awake. You may instead be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and pain-free during the procedure.
  • Your healthcare provider will make an incision and cut away the foreskin. Your provider may close the edges with tissue glue or stitches that will dissolve. Petroleum jelly and a dressing will be placed on the area.

What will happen after the procedure:

You will be monitored until you are stable. Once you are stable, you will be able to go home. You will need to rest for the rest of the day. Your penis will be swollen and bruised. You will have some pain after the numbing medicine wears off. This should get better over the next 2 or 3 days.

Risks of a circumcision:

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. An injury to your penis, urethra, or nerves may occur. You may need another procedure to fix the injury.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have a fever.
  • There is new bleeding.
  • Your pain becomes severe or does not get better within a few days.
  • You have problems urinating.
  • Your stitches come apart.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • NSAIDs help decrease swelling and pain or fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for circumcision dressing:

Remove the dressing from your penis by soaking it off in the bathtub. Fill a clean tub about hip high with clean warm water. Sit in the tub until the dressing comes off easily.

Self care:

It can take 6 weeks or more for you to heal completely.

  • Apply ice to the area. Ice should be placed for 20 minutes and then taken off for 20 minutes. Repeat this for the first 24 hours after your procedure. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel before you apply it to the area. Ice will help decrease pain and swelling.
  • Rest. Do not run or play sports until your healthcare provider says it is okay.
  • Do not have sex for 6 weeks, or until your healthcare provider says it is okay.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

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