Opinions on circumcision vary according to a person’s religious and cultural backgrounds. There are those who don’t practice it, and there are some who believe in its benefits. In some cultures, circumcision is a part of a religious ceremony and performed by a prominent religious figure.
Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the foreskin, or the top portion of the skin that covers the penis, to expose the tip of the penis.
To prepare your baby for surgery, you first need to educate yourself about the advantages and risks of circumcision.
Advantages and risks
The following are the advantages of circumcision:
- Lessens the chance of developing urinary tract infection – According to experts, circumcised males have a lower chance of developing urinary tract infections. This is because the foreskin, if not removed, can accumulate bacteria that can cause infection.
- Lessens the chance of penis cancer – Although developing this type of cancer is rare, it is thought that circumcision decreases the chance of having cancer of the penis that can be attributed to genital hygiene.
- Lessens the chance of transmitting STDs – Another known benefit of circumcision is it decreases the risk of having STDs and HPV by 30%.
The risks of circumcision are minimal considering that it’s a surgical procedure. They are as follows:
- Pain and discomfort
- A possibility of infection and bleeding on the surgical site
- Penile injury
- Meatitis, or the inflammation of the opening of the penis
Isn’t your baby too young to undergo circumcision?
Experts believe that it is generally better to have your baby circumcised at a young age. Unless your baby is suffering from a medical condition that does not allow favorable results, the best time to do it is from 8 days to 3 months old. This is a period wherein babies feel less pain and won’t have any memory of the event. Therefore, psychological trauma can be ruled out.
A child circumcised at a young age will get lighter scars that fade more seamlessly. It may even look like it wasn’t there in the first place. The younger they are, the more effective it is for their skin tissues to repair the wound. And the older the child, the more likely it is for complications to arise.
Moreover, it’s so much easier to carry your baby to the operation table than to drag your 7-year-old through the very thing he dreads.
Preparing your baby
Various medical professionals can do this surgery for your baby including obstetricians. But some clinics specialize in circumcision such as Circumcision Manchester Clinic. These clinics offer a more personalized approach than a hospital setup.
To prepare your baby, you need to make sure of the following:
- Your baby has no existing medical condition that can complicate the procedure – An example of which is hypospadias, which is a defect that places the urinary duct of the baby on the side of the penis instead of the tip where it should be. Performing a circumcision on a baby having this can be fatal. Consult your pediatrician if you can proceed with the surgery.
- Baby is well fed during the big day – This is to avoid fussiness that can make the surgery difficult for the doctor.
Make sure that you also bring extra clothes, towels, feeding bottles, and other essentials.
It will take up to a maximum of 10 days for the wound to heal completely. While most babies heal from this procedure with no problem, you should still be aware of the following complications:
- Unexplained fussiness
- No pee within the next 12 hours
- Presence of blood in the genital area
- The plastic ring used has not fallen off yet after 14 days
It’s normal for your son’s genital area to be swollen and reddish after the surgery. Your doctor should give you instructions on how to clean the area and what medicines you can use to address any discomfort. If complications arise, have your baby checked by your doctor right away.
Circumcision for your baby is an important decision you should be making with your partner. Whether you’re doing it for cultural or religious reasons, make sure to do your research and ask your doctors about it. Readiness and awareness are key to any successful surgery.