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.
Circumcision is a commonly performed procedure. Post-operative bleeding may occur requiring further corrective treatment and sometimes the need to return to theatre.
It is normal to experience some pain and soreness around the wound site, particularly over the first few days. It is therefore important for you to take painkillers regularly over the first two to three days. In the unlikely event of an infection antibiotics may be required. You may notice some discomfort for several weeks after the operation. Marked swelling and bruising of the penis is common after surgery and should subside over a couple of weeks. If your wound should become increasingly painful, swollen or mucky you should contact Dr Meyer. On rare occasions, a change in sensation of the penis, either during sexual intercourse or, an awareness of increased sensitivity at the tip ('head' or 'glans') of the penis, even when you are not having sexual intercourse. This increased awareness may actually be felt as discomfort or pain in some cases. On rare occasions, narrowing of the urinary opening (meatal stenosis) may occur. This may impede urination and require corrective treatment.
You can remove the wound dressings the day after your surgery. You should then shower or bathe daily. Over the first week or so, you may notice a sticky discharge around the wound that should be gently washed away. Soap and water is entirely adequate and you may wash as often as you wish. Between washes it is important to keep the area clean and dry until healed. The stitches are self-dissolving and will dissolve after a few weeks.
As you were given a general anaesthetic this will affect your judgment for about 24 hours. For your own safety do NOT drive any type of car, bike or other vehicle. Do NOT operate machinery including cooking implements. Do NOT make important decisions or sign a legal document. Do NOT drink alcohol, take other mind-altering substances, or smoke. They may react with the anaesthetic drugs. Have an adult with you on the first night after your procedure. You can return to normal physical activities when you feel comfortable, although it is wise to avoid heavy or strenuous activity for the first couple of weeks. It is important to avoid sexual activity for at least four weeks as this may cause pain and bleeding. You can return to work as soon as you feel well enough usually after a few days. If your work is heavy or strenuous, you may need about two weeks off work.
Dr Meyer will write to both you and your GP confirming your follow up arrangements after your Circumcision. The cost of the post-operative appointment is included in your initial surgical fee. If you have any questions concerning your care after your surgery please contact Dr Meyer's rooms on 07 38834431 or 0488 378 016.