Male circumcision is the surgical procedure for the removal of the prepuce, also known as the foreskin. This is the section of skin that covers the tip of the penis. The foreskin is normally seen as protection for the tip of the penis and it is loaded with a number of sensitive nerve endings which contribute immensely to sexual sensations.
According to recent studies, it is believed that this procedure may have certain subtle health benefits. However, some doctors are of the opinion that the health benefits are not positive enough to warrant the need for surgery.
Apart from normal circumcisions that are designed to generally remove the prepuce, there is also a procedure known as a medical circumcision. This type of procedure is performed as a treatment for a disease that may be affecting some parts or sections of the male organ in or around the foreskin region. Some of the conditions that are likely to be treated through medical circumcision include recurrent risk of urinary tract infection, phimosis, and recurrent balanitis among others.
Usually, it is a procedure mainly done on babies if it is not performed for medical reasons. Most of the time, it is a practice observed for many cultural or religious reasons.
Parents Consenting to the Circumcision of their Baby Boys
Before considering a circumcision for a baby boy, it is vital to keep in mind some of the complications and benefits that may arise from this procedure. It should be kept in mind that a parent has the right to consent to their child’s circumcision, and it often comes down to personal and religious preference.
Unless done for medical reasons, some people believe that the child should decide for themselves whether or not to get circumcised when they become of age.
Medical Benefits of Circumcision
There is still a lot of work being done looking into the medical benefits of this medical procedure. However, with the data that is already obtained, the following are some of the benefits believed to come with circumcision-:
- Reduces the risk of urinary tract infections in babies
- Zero risk of infants getting any form of infection under the foreskin. Infections under the foreskin are sometimes common in some infants due to the presence of the prepuce.
- Proper genital hygiene
- Lower risks of getting penile cancer later on in life. However, this is an extremely rare condition and even in the absence of this procedure, it can still be avoided with proper genital hygiene.
- Possible lower risks of men getting sexually transmitted diseases. It is believed that men who are circumcised are less predisposed to diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases compared to uncircumcised men.
Reasons for Circumcision in Older Men and Boys
Some older boys and men may voluntarily opt for adult circumcision, usually after they have been informed of the benefits of the procedure. Others, however, may be compelled to receive the procedure as a medical remedy to a condition. For example, those that are suffering from the scarring of the foreskin that stops it from retracting, then the ideal solution would be to simply remove the foreskin through this procedure.
Infections to the penis or recurring inflammation – a condition known as balanitis, may also warrant the need for medical circumcision in older men and boys. If you have a recurrent history of urinary tract infection, this medical procedure may be recommended as a remedy to dealing with the condition. Finally, older men and boys may also opt for medical circumcision if their foreskin is too tight that it causes pain or spraying during urination.
Medical Concerns about Circumcision Worth Considering
If you are thinking about circumcising yourself or your baby boy, there are certain things that should be discussed with your doctor or surgeon before the procedure. Most importantly, you need to deeply explore your medical history, as well as any possible negative reactions to anesthetics. For your son, you may consider having them circumcised within the first few days after birth. This can normally be done under local anesthesia. It can also be performed when the boys are about six months of age, but this is done under general anesthesia. Irrespective of when you choose to have the procedure done, always ensure that it is performed by a qualified and competent surgeon. How the Procedure is Performed.
There are different methods that a surgeon can use to perform a circumcision. It can be done either under local or general anesthesia. One of the common methods preferred by most surgeons in carrying out this procedure is the plastibell method. With this method, the area around the foreskin will be numbed using an anesthetic injection or cream.
After the numbing, a bell-shaped instrument will then be inserted beneath the foreskin to lift it up from the penis so that the skin and the glans are not in contact. With the help of scissors or a scalpel, the surgeon will then go ahead and cut the foreskin. Alternatively, the surgeon may use a formal surgical procedure such as the use of dissolving sutures or tissue glue.
What to Expect Immediately After the Circumcision
After a successful operation, you can expect to experience a little discomfort and swelling at the site of the operation. The wound may also look unsightly for up to eight days after the procedure.
However, once it is all dried up, healing should be smooth without any further challenges. It is vital, however, to ensure proper hygiene until complete healing is achieved. This is to avoid excessive bleeding or reinfection.