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Circumcision of your Baby

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What do I need to know about a circumcision?

A circumcision is a procedure to remove the foreskin of your baby's penis. The foreskin is the fold of skin that covers the tip of the penis. A circumcision is usually done within 2 days of birth. The circumcision may be delayed if your baby is premature or has other health concerns.

How will my baby be prepared for a circumcision?

Numbing cream may be put on his penis 30 to 90 minutes before the procedure. Numbing medicine may also be given as a shot at the base of his penis. Your baby may be given a pacifier dipped in sugar water for comfort. You can swaddle your baby before his procedure to soothe and calm him. You can also feed your baby to help keep him calm. He may be given acetaminophen to decrease pain.

What will happen during my baby's circumcision?

Your baby's healthcare provider will use a tool to remove the foreskin. Your baby's provider will put petroleum jelly and gauze on the area. This will help keep the area from getting irritated from his diaper and urine. It will also keep the gauze from sticking to the area.

What can I expect after my baby's circumcision?

Providers will swaddle your baby and watch him closely after the procedure. He will be returned to you as soon as possible. You can feed your baby to help soothe and calm him after the procedure. Your baby's provider will tell you when you can take your baby home. Your baby's penis may be red and swollen for 1 or 2 days. It usually takes 7 to 10 days for your baby's penis to heal. Your baby's penis may have a small amount of yellow discharge or crust. This is normal.

What are the risks of a circumcision?

Your baby may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your baby's foreskin may be cut too short or not short enough. Your baby may have a thick scar around his penis when it is healed. Damage may be done to your baby's penis, urethra, or nerves. Your baby may need another procedure to fix the damage.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby. 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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Further information

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