What is Circumcision?

Circumcision is a procedure that involves removal of the foreskin that sheaths the head of the penis.  Please read on for detail on the virtually painless method we use at Pollock Clinics.

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.

What are the Potential Benefits of Circumcision?

  1. Improved hygiene – It is well known that microorganisms accumulate under the foreskin which fosters inflammation which can lead to conditions such as balanitis/balanoposthitis (inflammation of the head of the penis). The incidence of balanitis is twice as high as those who are uncircumcised. Smegma, which is a cheesy like secretion, can also accumulate under the foreskin combining with bacteria to produce an offensive odor.
  2. Reduced risk of urinary tract and bladder infections – Because microorganisms can accumulate under and adhere to the foreskin, bacteria has a greater chance of migrating up the urethra causing urinary tract infections (UTIs) especially in infancy. Studies suggest an over 10-fold decrease in risk of urinary tract infection in circumcised infants. UTIs are a potentially painful and dangerous condition as it can result in kidney inflammation and scarring. Studies suggest that the protective effect of circumcision against UTIs when done as a newborn continues into adulthood.
  3. Reduced risk of phimosis – Phimosis is a condition where the foreskin becomes so tight that it cannot be pulled back fully, resulting in UTIs, local skin infection, pain when passing urine, retention of urine, kidney stones, and sexual dysfunction. Circumcision eliminates the risk of phimosis, which affects 1 in 20 older boys and men.
  4. Reduced risk of penile cancer — Studies have shown an over 20-fold reduction in the risk of invasive penile cancer which is thought to arise from adherence of high-risk human papillomavirus to the foreskin and smegma causing chronic inflammation and recurrent infections resulting in phimosis. Invasive penile carcinoma is highly associated with a history of phimosis.
  5. Reduced risk of prostate cancer – Some studies show that uncircumcised men may have a higher incident of prostate cancer.
  6. Reduced risk of sexually transmitted diseases – this is because viruses enter through the inner lining of the foreskin which is thin and vulnerable. Ulceration and tearing of the foreskin are not uncommon in uncircumcised men, adding to the risk of virus entry. The following diseases are all reduced by circumcision:
    1. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is reduced by 53% to 60%.
    2. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is reduced by 28% to 34%.
    3. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is reduced by 32% to 35%.
    4. Among female partners of circumcised men, bacterial vaginosis is reduced by 40% and Trichomonas vaginalis infection is reduced by 48%.
  7. Reduced cervical cancer in women – Circumcision reduces the risk of cervical cancer of a man’s female partner by 5.6 times as there is less risk of adherence and colonization of human papillomavirus in circumcised men, which is a recognized cause of cervical cancer in women and venereal warts in both sexes.


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What are the Risks of Circumcision?circumcision victoria bc

  1. Bleeding – in 1 in 500 circumcision 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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).
  4. Meatal stenosis – this is a narrowing of the urethra that may occur after the procedure requiring medical intervention (1/1000).
  5. Phimosis – this is a narrowing of the shaft skin opening over the head of the penis requiring medical intervention (1/500)
  6. Trauma resulting in permanent damage to the head of the penis (never in our practice)
  7. Suboptimal cosmetic result (1/500)
  8. More serious complications including death (never in our practice).

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The Pollock Method of Baby Circumcision – How we do it.

The Pollock Technique™ is known for its quickness (less than a minute) and safety. Dr. Pollock has considered even the smallest details, including increasing room temperature and playing soothing music.

Pollock Clinics is one of the most experienced circumcision clinics in North America (over 40,000 circumcisions safely performed), with low complication rates.

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.

We employ a local anesthetic technique that is a combination of both short and long acting anesthetics. 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.

For your peace of mind, our doctors are available 24 hours a day after the procedure. All clients are given the doctor’s contact information so that if any concerns should arise they can reach the doctor directly.

The Penis Before & After Baby Circumcision

The three images below show the change in your baby boy’s penis brought about by circumcision.

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1. A profile of the uncircumcised penis with the foreskin covering the glans (head of the penis).

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2. The same penis as in Figure 1 but drawn as if the foreskin was transparent. Here you can see the foreskin in relation to the inner side of the foreskin and the glans. Notice the adhesions along the inner side of the glans. These are present at birth in almost all babies and must be released before the actual circumcision.

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3. The same penis following the circumcision. Notice that the cut edge of the skin retracts to just behind the back rim of the glans. This is the site of healing.

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