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Circumcision of your Older Child


What you need to know about your child's circumcision:

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

Prepare your child for a circumcision:

Give your younger child a bath the morning of the procedure. Have your older child bathe or shower the morning of the procedure. Talk to your older child about the procedure. Tell him that he will be sleep during the procedure. Have your younger child pick out his favorite stuffed animal or blanket to take with him. Your older child may want to take music to listen to. These items may help comfort your child.

What will happen during your child's circumcision:

  • Your child will be given anesthesia to keep him asleep and pain free during the procedure. He may also receive a shot of numbing medicine at the base of his penis.
  • Your child's healthcare provider will make an incision and cut away the foreskin. The edges of the skin will be closed with stitches that will dissolve. Petroleum jelly and a dressing will be placed on the area.

What will happen after your child's circumcision:

Your child will be monitored until he is stable. Once he is stable, you will be able to take him home. Your child will need to rest for the rest of the day. He will not be able to run or do sports until his healthcare provider says it is okay. Your child's penis will be swollen and red. This should get better over time. Your child will have some pain after the numbing medicine wears off.

The risks of a circumcision:

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

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child's entire penis looks red and swollen.
  • There is new bleeding.
  • Your child's pain becomes severe or does not get better within a few days.
  • Your child has problems urinating.
  • Your child's stitches come apart.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.


  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and 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 give your child and how often to give it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines your child uses to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your child's doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Care for your child after circumcision:

It can take up to 3 weeks for your child to heal.

  • 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 child's 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.
  • Have your child rest. Do not allow running or playing sports until his healthcare provider says it is okay.

Care for incision site:

Ask your child's healthcare provider if your child can bathe or shower. Change the dressing daily or if the dressing gets wet.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down any questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visit.

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