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Male Circumcision

Male circumcision is the removal of the foreskin around the end of the penis. If you decide on circumcision, your baby's doctor will do it in the hospital's nursery. If your baby is small or has any medical problems, the circumcision may need to be done later. The doctor will have you sign a consent form before the procedure is done.

Uncircumcised Penis
Uncircumcised Penis
Circumcised Penis
Circumcised Penis

During the Procedure

  • The doctor will put a numbing medicine gel on the penis.
  • Your baby may be offered a pacifier dipped in sugar water to ease the pain.
  • Your baby's legs will be held still while the foreskin is removed.
  • The procedure lasts 5 to 10 minutes.

After the Procedure

  • The penis is wrapped with Vaseline-soaked gauze. The gauze will fall off on its own and may be left off. The stitches under the gauze will dissolve and do not need to be removed. This is called the clamp method.


  • The penis has a plastic ring around it. The ring will fall off in 5 to 7 days. There are no stitches to be removed.
  • There may be swelling that will go away in about 4 days.
  • Your baby may be fussy, not eat well or sleep more for the first 24 hours.
  • As the penis heals, yellowish-white patches may appear. Do not try to wipe these off. The patches will go away as it heals.
  • Children's acetaminophen (Tylenol) may be given as ordered by your baby's doctor for pain.

Home Care

Change diapers often. With each diaper change:

  • Rinse the area with warm water only, no soap, until the penis heals. Pat dry.
  • Avoid using diaper wipes. These contain alcohol which will be painful to the unhealed penis.
  • Look for signs of infection such as redness, swelling or a foul odor.
  • Apply a small amount of Vaseline or antibiotic ointment around the tip of the penis. Do this until healing is complete.
  • With the clamp method, it is important to be able to see the entire glans with each diaper change. After 1 to 2 days, if you do not see the glans, gently push the skin back until the entire glans is exposed.
  • Your baby can take a tub bath after the penis is healed and the umbilical cord has fallen off.