An Overview of Male Circumcision: Benefits, Procedures and Risks

On the birth of a boy, people start thinking about circumcision. The decision for getting your son circumcised is subjective to religious, cultural, and personal preferences. While adult male circumcision for now is entirely restricted to medical reasons.

Adult circumcision was much less common than infant circumcision, but as sited at Circumcision Center more and more people are approaching for getting circumcised. Some common medical reasons for adult circumcision are:

  • Paraphimosis (Unable to return the retracted foreskin to its normal position.
  • Phimosis (Foreskin of the penis is too tight and cannot retract from the head).
  • Recurrent inflammation of the foreskin.

What is a circumcision?

The penis has a covering on the head, which is called foreskin or glans. In circumcision process the foreskin is surgically removed and glans is exposed.

Making a Choice for Having Circumcision

The American Academy of Pediatrics has not yet found enough evidence to medically support circumcision or even argue against it. However, there are numerous studies and researches that still support adult circumcision for better health benefits and sexual life.

Generally, the decision to circumcise an infant is based on religious beliefs, and for concerns of hygiene and other social and cultural factors. Circumcision is however very common now in United States, Middle East, and Canada.

But before anyone makes the decision of being circumcised, the individual should understand the procedure thoroughly. This should help making a clear choice of getting circumcised or not.

Circumcision Procedure

The procedure in whole takes almost 20 minutes in maximum and requires just that half an hour of stay at hospital. Circumcision in adults is performed in three different ways; guided forceps, dorsal slit, sleeve resection.  Before the procedure, the pubic area is thoroughly scrubbed and pubic hairs are removed. Anesthetic cream is applied on the point and local anesthetic is injected at the base of the penis.

Guided forceps is the simplest way of carrying out circumcision. In this the foreskin is pulled over the glans with forceps and the foreskin is then snipped with the help of forceps edge.

Dorsal slit is generally preferred over the other methods when treating paraphimosis and phimosis. A slit is made from the opening of the foreskin a few centimeters towards the inside and then a circle is made around the glans.

Sleeve resection however is the most complicated, and is often chosen when there’s a risk of excessive bleeding. Using this procedure, two parallel cuts are made along the shaft of the penis; this causes a thin band of the foreskin to get detached. The foreskin bottom and top is then attached using dissolving sutures.

While in Jews “bris” or “holistic circumcision” is the procedure that takes 15 to 30 seconds and is performed by a Mohel. The foreskin gets separated from the glans and with the help of Mogen clamp, a single cut is made with scalpel and foreskin is removed. This however is the way of performing circumcision on baby boys.

Following circumcision, an antibiotic ointment is applied and the area is wrapped in loose gauze.

When Should the Procedure be performed in Adults?

Adult circumcision has no time frame; it can be performed at any age and of course is subjective to personal choice and medical reasons.

How is Pain Controlled?

Pain controlling procedures involve using a topical cream, a nerve blocking injection the base of penis, and a similar injection around the penis shaft.

What Are the Benefits of Adult Circumcision?

Although there are not enough findings to conclude the benefits of circumcision, but still various studies support the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases through male circumcision. Some benefits that are highlighted are:

  • Prevents urinary tract infections, especially when carried out in infants
  • Prevents penile cancer
  • Reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases

What Are the Risks of Adult Male Circumcision?

The risks, just as benefits are under discussion but as far as the studies support, they are minimal. But since it’s a surgical procedure, therefore does require precaution and careful consideration. Moreover, circumcision should only be performed by a skilled profession with hygienic tools and only a healthy individual should be circumcised.

Complications can rate from 0.1 to 35% with the major complications as bleeding, infection, and failure of removing enough foreskins. Infection and bleeding can also result from irritation, and in most cases an application of an ointment can provide relief. Some serious complications include:

  • Meatitis (Inflammation of penis opening) and meatal stenosis (disorder related to urination).
  • Penis injury can also result in complications such as urethral fistulas and penis necrosis.
  • In very rare cases, too much removal of the foreskin from the penis can also lead to painful erection in adults.

In order to avoid all such complications and risks, clean the area gently with Luke warm water for several days and apply lubricants as instructed.

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