Circumcision is the surgical removal of the skin covering the tip of the penis. It is a common procedure for newborn boys in certain parts of the world, including Hong Kong. Read to learn more about what circumcision means, what are the risks, benefits and recovery from circumcision surgery.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, which is the layer of skin that covers the head of the penis. The foreskin is completely attached to the penis when a baby is born. The length of the foreskin varies in different people, but it should be loose enough to be retracted (pulled back) easily to expose the glans. Normally, the foreskin becomes retractable around the age of 5. It is common for baby boys to undergo circumcision shortly after birth. Although it is less common, adults can also undergo circumcision.
Circumcision can be a religious or cultural ritual in different ethnicity, it can also be a matter of family tradition, personal hygiene or preventive health care.
Sometimes, there is a medical need for circumcision including:
Circumcision has several benefits, not only in the aspects of penile health, but it can also improve hygiene, as a circumcised penis is simpler to clean and wash, especially for children.
Other health benefits of circumcision also include:
Circumcision surgery is associated with the risk of bleeding and infection, just like most other surgeries. Rarely, circumcision may result in foreskin problems, such as:
Circumcision is not recommended if your baby:
Recovery from circumcision commonly takes around 8-10 days for babies. During the healing process, the penis may look swollen and red. Recovery from an adult circumcision may take longer, up to 6 weeks. The exposed tip of penis may feel very sensitive. It is advisable to keep the area dry for 2 days and avoid swimming for around 2 weeks.
Circumcision has benefits but also carries risks, ultimately the decision is personal. Seek medical advice about the pros and cons so that you can make the decision that is right for you and your baby.
Circumcision is often associated with baby boys. However, many people are surprised to learn that adults can undergo the procedure, especially when there is a medical need for it.
Circumcision may lead to complications such as inflammation of the opening of the penis (meatitis), irritation and risk of injury to the penis as well as the risk of cutting the foreskin too long or too short.
Circumcision does not affect fertility. On the other hand, phimosis carries a higher risk of developing an infection of the glans of the penis (balanitis) and sexually transmitted disease. These conditions can impact male fertility, but these risks can be avoided through good hygiene.
This article was independently written by Healthy Matters and is not sponsored. It is informative only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be relied upon for specific medical advice.
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