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Circumcision of your Older Child

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about a circumcision?

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

How do I prepare my child for a circumcision?

Give your younger child a bath the morning of the procedure. Have him pick out his favorite toy or blanket to take with him. Have your older child bathe or shower the morning of the procedure. Talk to him about his procedure and tell him that he will be asleep during it. Your child may want to take music to listen to. This can help him relax while he is waiting for his procedure.

What will happen during my child's circumcision?

  • Your child may be given general anesthesia to keep him asleep and free from pain during the procedure. Your child may instead be given local anesthesia to numb the area. With local anesthesia, your child may feel pressure or pushing, but he should not feel any pain.
  • Your child's healthcare provider will use a tool to remove the foreskin. The edges of the skin may be closed with stitches that will dissolve. Your child's provider may put petroleum jelly and a bandage on the area. This will help keep the area from getting irritated from his underwear. It will also keep the bandage from sticking to the area.

What can I expect after my child's circumcision?

Your child will be taken to the recovery room and monitored closely. Your child's provider will tell you when you can take your child home. He will have some pain after the numbing medicine wears off. His penis will be swollen and red for a few days. Your child's penis may have a small amount of yellow discharge or crust. This is normal. It can take up to 3 weeks for your child's penis to heal. Your child will not be able to run or do sports until his provider says it is okay.

What are the risks of a circumcision?

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

Care Agreement

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