Nearly 3.8 million babies are born each year in the United States, and roughly half of those are boys. That means almost 2 million sets of parents are faced with the decision: Should I have my newborn son circumcised?
Nevada Pediatric Specialists is a leading provider of neonatal circumcision in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada. In this post, our team reviews five common questions new parents might want to ask when considering circumcision for their newborn.
1. What are the benefits of circumcision?
The decision whether to have your newborn circumcised is highly personal. While there’s no medical need for circumcision, research shows it can have some significant benefits, including:
- Simpler hygiene routine
- Reduced risk of urinary tract infections
- Lower risk of penile cancer
- Reduced risk of some sexually transmitted diseases
- Decreased risk of penile problems, including curvature (phimosis)
In cultures where the practice is prevalent, circumcision may help your son feel more comfortable with his appearance, as well.
2. What are the potential risks or complications?
Circumcision only removes the foreskin that covers the head or glans of the penis. It does not involve the urethra and does not affect your son’s ability to urinate afterward.
Risks associated with newborn circumcision are very low — roughly 0.2%. In rare instances, your child may have excessive bleeding or develop an infection. Call the office if your child develops a fever of more than 101 degrees, if the area becomes very red or swollen, or if there is active bleeding in the area.
3. What happens during circumcision?
For newborns, our team performs circumcisions in our office. We gently secure your son to prevent movement during the procedure. Then, we clean the area and numb it with a local anesthetic.
We place a tiny clamp around the penis and carefully remove the foreskin. Next, we apply ointment and gauze or a special plastic ring to prevent infection. The entire procedure just takes a few minutes, and you’ll be able to hold and cuddle your son immediately afterward.
4. What should I expect after the circumcision?
It’s normal for your son to be a little fussy afterward, especially for the first 24 hours or so. His sleeping and feeding schedules may be disrupted temporarily.
You can help him get through the initial hours of recovery with plenty of cuddling and over-the-counter children’s acetaminophen. We may also recommend gently applying petroleum jelly or antibiotic cream after the first 24 hours.
During the first 48 hours after circumcision, bathe your son with sponge baths — avoid immersing the area in water, and don’t scrub or rub the area. The wound heals in about 7-10 days.
Our team provides you with complete recovery and care instructions to make the initial healing process easier for both of you.
5. Is it OK to wait until my son is older?
You can be circumcised at any age, even as an adult. While there’s nothing preventing your son from being circumcised when he’s older, circumcision during infancy has a couple of distinct advantages.
Not only can pain management be simpler while your son is very small, but he also will have no memory of the procedure and no anxiety ahead of time. Having circumcision during infancy also means your child can begin enjoying benefits, like reduced risk of UTIs, right away.
Typically, circumcisions on older children must be performed in a hospital rather than your pediatrician’s office. If you decide to wait until your son is older, we can provide a referral to a pediatric urologist with experience in performing circumcisions on older children.
Your questions answered
It’s natural to have questions about circumcision. If you’d like to learn more, call 702-457-5437 or book an appointment online with Nevada Pediatric Specialists today.