Male circumcision is the surgical removal of some, or all, of the foreskin (prepuce) that covers the tip of the penis. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported that in 2010 approximately 58% of male newborns in the US were circumcised. Circumcision may be done for a variety of reasons including cultural, religious, esthetic, medical treatment, or preventative health. Uncircumcised men may choose to undergo the procedure, and this can be performed at any age.
Men consider adult circumcision for a variety of reasons. They may prefer the appearance of a circumcised penis or desire to fit a particular cultural perception. Religious practices or expectations may also motivate an adult male to consider circumcision. Additionally, the decision to circumcise can be medical, or part of a preventative health plan.
- HIV. Studies show that circumcision significantly reduces a male’s risk of contracting HIV from an infected female partner. The Centers for Disease Control issued a draft recommendation for circumcision to be considered as a preventative measure, in addition to safe sex practices, to reduce the chance of contracting HIV.
- Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Circumcised men have reduced risks for other STDs such as high-risk strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), and chlamydia. Risks of genital ulcer disease, syphilis, cancroid, and herpes simplex virus type II (HSV2) are also lowered.
- Penile Cancer. Penile cancer is rare, and even less common in circumcised men.
- Phimosis. Phimosis is a medical condition that causes a difficulty in retracting the foreskin due to a tight ring of foreskin around the tip of the penis. Scarring, infection, or inflammation causes this condition in men. Treatments may include manual retraction, corticosteroid application, frenuloplasty, or circumcision.
- Balanitis Xerotica Obliterans (BXO). BXO is a skin condition that causes a hardening and inflammation of the penis. Treatment for BXO primarily affecting the foreskin is circumcision, which usually results in a complete cure. For more extreme cases, further treatments may be considered.
Risks and Side Effects
Adult circumcision is a surgery and should be carefully considered. When attended by a qualified medical professional it is a low risk procedure with a complication rate of about 5% according to the CDC. Possible risks to consider include bleeding and infection. As a side effect, some patients report a reduction in penile sensitivity following circumcision that may affect their sexual experiences.
Adult circumcision may be done under local or general anesthesia and does not normally require an overnight stay. The doctor will decide on the amount of skin to remove and may mark locations for incisions. Some doctors choose to induce an artificial erection ahead of time to ensure that the correct amount of excess foreskin is removed. The foreskin will be retracted, trimmed and incisions closed with absorbable sutures or tissue glue.
The penis may be covered with a compressive bandage. Swelling, bruising, and pain during the first few days after surgery should be expected. Ensure that the bandage stays in place until it is time to be removed and keep the area clean and dry. Once it is time, soaking in a warm bath can facilitate gentle removal of the bandage. Avoid sexual activity for up to 6 weeks or at the advise of your doctor.
Not all insurance providers cover the cost of circumcision, unless it is being performed as treatment for a specific medical condition.
Discuss all options with a qualified medical professional before electing to undergo adult circumcision to be sure circumcision is right for you. Contact Luzato Medical Group, their services include: