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Boys are born with a covering over the head of the penis, which is called the glans, or foreskin. During circumcision, the foreskin is surgically removed, exposing the glans. Circumcision is usually performed in the first two to three weeks after the baby is born. Making a Circumcision Decision The American Academy of Pediatrics has not found sufficient supporting evidence to medically recommend circumcision or argue against it. Despite the possible benefits and risks, circumcision is neither essential nor detrimental to your son’s health. Typically the decision to circumcise is based on religious beliefs, concerns about hygiene, or various other cultural or social factors. Circumcision is common in the United States, Canada, and the Middle East.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the latest numbers released through 2006 show a declining rate in circumcision. Circumcision is less common in Asia, South America, Central America, and most of Europe. Before deciding one way or the other, it is helpful to understand how the procedure is performed, the risks, and the benefits. No one should pressure you into making a decision one way or the other regarding circumcision. Doctor’s Office: The procedure can take from 5 to 20 minutes and will usually be performed before leaving the hospital. Your baby will be placed in a padded restraint chair and usually be given anesthesia. Since there are several different types of possible procedures, you should ask your care provider to explain the type they will be using.
Procedures include the Plastibell, the Gomco clamp or Mogen clamp which all require the use of a scalpel. These procedures first separate the foreskin from the glans with a device followed by surgery with the scalpel to remove the foreskin. The foreskin is separated from the glans, often using the Mogen clamp, and then a single cut with a scalpel is used to remove the foreskin. The parents hold the baby during the procedure. Afterwards, the mother is encouraged to nurse within the first minute following the procedure.
This procedure is usually performed on or shortly after the 8th day from birth when clotting factors in the babies blood are at their highest levels. When should the procedure be performed? Most doctors recommend that circumcision be done within a few days from the delivery of the baby. Some doctors recommend waiting two or three weeks. When the birth occurs in a hospital, circumcision is usually done within 48 hours. If the baby was born in a birth center or if it was a home birth, circumcision can wait up to two weeks and can be performed either in your pediatricians office or with a Jewish Mohel.
How is pain controlled during the procedure? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using pain relief measures for the procedure. Types of local anesthesia for reducing pain include a topical cream, a nerve block via injection at the base of the penis, and a nerve block via injection under the skin around the penis shaft. What are the benefits of a circumcision?
The American Academy of Pediatrics states that there are not enough benefits from circumcision to recommend it as a routine practice and that it is not medically necessary. As always, it is important to discuss the subject with your doctor. What are the risks of a circumcision? The risks of circumcision are minimal. However, as with any surgical procedure, there should be careful consideration of the risks. Circumcision should always be performed by a skilled professional and only on a healthy infant, using proven techniques to prevent infections. The rate of complications ranges from 0.