Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis. Reasons for performing a circumcision include the prevention of recurrent infections of the foreskin (balanitis), inability to withdraw the foreskin over the head of penis (phimosis), inability to pull a retracted foreskin back over the head of penis (paraphimosis), and sometimes to make a diagnosis of an abnormality of the foreskin.
The procedure is carried out under a general anaesthetic and is a day case operation. The foreskin covering the head of the penis is gently cut away and the remaining skin is then stitched back using dissolvable stitches. The procedure usually takes about 30 minutes.The main benefits of this procedure are the relief of pain, discomfort or inflammation, or to allow a precise diagnosis of a problem with the foreskin.
Alternative 'conservative' measures may be appropriate, depending on the original reason for the surgery. These treatments include anti-inflammatory, antifungal or antibiotic ointments, although these may not be effective in the long term.