What is Circumcision?
Circumcision is a simple operation that involves removal of the foreskin that sheaths the head of the penis. There are a number of very different methods used today for circumcision and the application of anesthesia. Please read on for detail on the method we use at Pollock Clinics as well as some alternate practices used by other doctors.
Why Do Parents Choose To Circumcise Their Sons?
According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, the overall evidence of the benefits and harms of circumcision is so evenly balanced that it does not support recommending circumcision as a routine procedure for all newborns.
When parents are making a decision about circumcision, they should be advised of the present state of medical knowledge about both its benefits and potential harms. The decision may ultimately be based on the family’s personal, religious or cultural factors.
According to a policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, “evaluation of current evidence indicates that the preventative health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks”.
The choice to circumcise your baby is one that you will make with the best interests of your boy at heart.
Research shows these benefits from infant circumcision:
- It reduces the risk of urinary tract infection.
- It reduces the risk of penile infection also called balanoposthitis.
- It eliminates the need to do it later in life when up to 6% of boys will require a circumcision because of various problems. (When it is done later in life, it is a more costly, difficult, and riskier procedure requiring a general anesthetic, and it is more painful).
- It reduces the risk of getting some sexually transmitted diseases including Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Herpes (HSV-2) and AIDS (HIV).
- It reduces the risk of penile cancer and cervical cancer in partners.
- Circumcised men have less risk of sexual dysfunction later in life.
What are potential complications of circumcision?
- Bleeding – in 1 in 500 circumcisions there may be some bleeding that is usually stopped with pressure or less commonly with stitches. If a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia, then our doctors will need advice from a pediatric hematologist prior to proceeding.
- Infection – there is always a possibility that there could be a generalized infection requiring antibiotics after the surgery (1/4000). Serious infections are rare (1/5000).
- Concealed penis – when there is a good amount of fat around the penis (pubic fat), the penis may retract inward and increase the chances the penis gets partially buried and requiring medical intervention (1/800).
- Meatal stenosis – this is a narrowing of the urethra that may occur after the procedure requiring medical intervention (1/1000).
- Phimosis – this is a narrowing of the shaft skin opening over the head of the penis requiring medical intervention (1/500)
- Trauma resulting in permanent damage to the head of the penis (1/20,000)
- Suboptimal cosmetic result (1/500)
- Skin Bridge (requiring surgical correction)- 1/1000 will have a skin bridge (fine bridge of skin that has grown to connect the shaft skin to the head of the penis) that requires surgical correction. Experienced circumcision physicians will often be able to pickup formation of skin bridges on the follow up visit after circumcision and at that time they are extremely simple to separate with a simple easing back of the skin.
- More serious complications including death (never in our practice).
The Pollock Method of Baby Circumcision – How we do it.
The Pollock Technique is known for its quickness (30 seconds) and safety. Dr. Pollock has considered even the smallest details including increasing room temperature and playing soothing music.
To keep your son comfortable both during and after the procedure, our doctors will use several pain control methods including Tylenol, sugar filled gauze pacifiers soaked with sweet juice for additional comfort and a topical freezing cream.
To ensure the most comfort for your son, we employ a local anesthetic technique that is a combination of both short and long acting anesthetic. This method provides comfort and coverage for both the procedure and for several hours after. All this ensures that your son will feel little or no pain at all.
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