Having taken a decision for circumcision of a baby – whether based on religious considerations or tradition – or based on medical considerations – parents need to ensure that the procedure is performed in as safe and medically sound way as possible. This not only reduces the chance of an accident (accidentally snipping off more than required), but also infection.
Only a trained medical practitioner should be permitted to perform the procedure using proper sterile and aseptic procedures.
The child should be healthy and stable and there should be no medical reason why the circumcision should not be performed.
Genital abnormalities, bleeding problems, etc are reasons not to circumcise. Also jaundice etc in a new born should be allowed to clear up before circumcision is performed.
Typically infant circumcision is performed on babies between the 2nd and 10th day of life. For pre-term babies this should be done just before being discharged from hospital
Firstly one must understand what happens when circumcision is performed – this procedure requires foreskin to be removed by cutting. Also there are several methods by which infant circumcision is performed which can be considered when deciding upon this:
The Plastibell method involves the foreskin and the glans are freed and the foreskin is put over the Plastibell device. The foreskin is then tied firmly and the ligature is inserted into the groove of the device to stop blood flow.
The foreskin is cut and the device falls off after healing – about 4 to 6 days. Additionally the surgical clamps such as Gomco clamp and Mogen clamp method may also be used for circumcision. The Mogen clamp is thought to offer the best cosmetic result.
After circumcision follow the instructions of the practitioner for proper care and healing of the incision such as:
- An antibiotic ointment may be prescribed to ward off infection
- Clean the general area several times a day with warm water.
- Petroleum jelly (fragrance free) can be applied after each nappy change – ask the practitioner about what is safe and appropriate.
- Special care of the area is require for about a week to ten days after the procedure – this is approximately the time that it take for a proper scab to form over the wound and for that scab to fall off. Once the scab falls off, no more care than normal hygiene is usually required
- When the baby visits the hospital the next time, he should be carefully examined by the practitioner or doctor for normal healing