Treatment: Circumcision

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin, the skin covering the head of the penis (the glans). This procedure is sometimes carried out in infancy for religious reasons. In the past, circumcision was often performed routinely in childhood in the belief that it would improve hygiene, but this practice is no longer recommended. In older boys and men, circumcision may be necessary if the foreskin becomes too tight to be pulled back fully (see Phimosis). When the operation is carried out in infancy, only local anaesthesia is required, but boys and men are usually given a general anaesthetic before undergoing surgery.

The operation

The foreskin, which covers the head of the penis, consists of an inner layer of mucosa and an outer layer of skin. During the operation, both layers are removed.

After the operation

The remnant of the foreskin has been stitched to the skin just behind the head of the penis, leaving the head of the penis uncovered. These stitches either dissolve or fall out after a few days.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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