What is Circumcision of Infant Boys?

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So, what is circumcision exactly?

First, here is a standard definition:

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the
foreskin of the penis, or prepuce of the clitoris.

How is it done?

The Gomco technique:
The preputial opening is streched. Preputial adhesions (synechial membrane) are broken so that the foreskin is completely retractile. [Fig. A] The bell-shaped plunger is applied over the glans. [Fig. B] The prepuce is pulled over the bell. [Fig. C] The plate of the clamp is applied at the level of the corona. [Fig. D] The clamp is tightened. This squeezes the prepuce between the bell and the clamp to make it blood-free. A circumferential incision is made with a cold knife. [Fig. E] The clamp is left in place at least five minutes to allow clotting and coagulation to occur. The clamp is removed and antiseptic ointment is applied. A light dressing is applied.

The PlastiBell technique:
The baby is put in a Circumstraint. It has Velcro straps to restrain his arms and legs so that he cannot move. The foreskin opening in a newborn is normally very small. The first stage of circumcision is to grasp the foreskin with forceps, and widen the opening. The foreskin is normally attached to the glans by a membrane called the synechia. During circumcision, the synechia must be torn apart. The foreskin is clamped. A slit is made in the dorsal side of the foreskin. The slit is separated and the foreskin is laid back. A PlastiBell of appropriate size is slipped over the glans, and the foreskin is laid over it. A ligature is tied in the ridge of the bell, as tightly as possible around the foreskin. After one or two minutes to allow for crush, the foreskin is sliced off at the distal edge of the ligature using a knife or scissors. The surgeon trims as much tissue as possible to reduce the amount of necrotic tissue and the possibility of infection. The handle of the bell is snapped off at this time. The rim of tissue will become necrotic (dead) and separate with the bell in 5 to 10 days.
If you want to see actual pictures of the PlastiBell procedure click here.

Both procedures take about 10-12 minutes. Some doctors will use local anaesthesia, but this is not common. Anaesthetic injections will cause the penis to swell, causing pain and making the surgery more difficult. Both injections and topical anaesthetic creams can be dangerous. General anaesthesia is never used on young babies because of the risk of breathing problems.

Here is a picture to show you the result of circumcision:

Circumcision is permanent and cannot be reversed.

When is it done?

In healthy newborns, it is usually performed shortly after delivery or, if not, within 2-3 days of birth. The procedure is done by a pediatrician in a hospital.

Baby Name BookI have tried to answer the common question "what is circumcision" and I hope I have succeeded. So, what is circumcision? A permanent alteration of a boy's penis, by the removal of about one third of his foreskin.

Now, if you are interested in the purpose of circumcision, I suggest you read about its history and the pros and cons of circumcision.

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Infant Circumcision

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