Q | what is a circumcision?

A | Circumcision of males involves removal of the fold of skin (foreskin), which covers the glans penis.

Common indications for this operation include:

  • Phimosis - This is when the foreskin cannot be retracted over the glans penis. At age 3 years about 10% of boys are unable to retract the foreskin, but by teenage, the majority of boys should not have a problem.
  • Paraphimosis This is when a tight foreskin is retracted and gets stuck in the retracted position leading to swelling and sometimes pain. This tends to occur in older men, however, can affect any age and should be treated as an emergency. You should seek urgent medical review if this occurs.
  • Recurrent balanitis - Balanitis is infection of the foreskin causing inflammation and pain around the end of the penis. Antibiotics are usually given in the first instance and circumcision can then be an option once the inflammation has settled.
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections this can be an indication in young boys and should be discussed with your specialist.