Understand Your Newborn Circumcision Options
Oh, boy! You’re expecting a son and with that news comes a big decision: whether or not to circumcise him. We’re here to answer all your questions about circumcison and to help you fully understand your options. If you decide to have your newborn circumcised within 30 days of birth, our providers will perform the procedure with great care, compassion, and every effort to minimize discomfort.
About the Circumcision Procedure
Circumcision is an elective procedure that removes the foreskin from the penis of male newborns. We perform this surgical procedure for infants up to 30 days old who have already received their vitamin K shot. We do our best to keep patients calm and comfortable during the procedure, including a secure swaddle, sucrose water (sugar water), and local anesthetic (numbing medication).
Please plan for the visit to take up to 2 hours, including a monitoring period following the procedure to watch for any bleeding (30-45 minutes).
There are 3 techniques to perform a circumcision: Mogen, Gomco, and Plastibell. All of them are safe and effective if performed by an experienced practitioner.
As a healthcare provider, Metropolitan Pediatrics understands that this procedure is not medically necessary, and yet we know that culturally this can be a very important and personal decision for families to make. We present families with unbiased information regarding the neonatal circumcision, including current American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, and are very respectful of parents’ choices, whether they decide to circumcise or not.
Your baby’s penis will be red and swollen for several days. A moist, yellowish film may appear around the head of the circumcised penis as it’s healing – this is called granulation tissue and it’s normal. Don’t try to wipe it off!
Your baby’s scrotum or skin around the penis may be bruised from the circumcision for several days.
Healing of the circumcision usually takes 7-10 days. When healing is complete, the head of the penis will look like normal skin.
Your newborn boy may be fussier over the next day after his circumcision, but he should be consolable and continue feeding regularly. You may give your baby infant Tylenol (acetaminophen) only 1 time after his circumcision – the dose is 1.25 mL 4-6 hours after the circumcision occurred.
Expect the amount of blood on the front of the diaper to be dime-sized or smaller over the first day.
Gomco & Mogen (no ring)
- Put liberal amounts of petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the head of the penis during every diaper change for the next week or until the circumcision is healed. This will help protect the penis from sticking to the front of the diaper during the circumcision care process.
- 24 hours after the circumcision, start gently pressing the remaining skin back from the head of the penis to prevent the skin from sticking and causing adhesions.
- Don’t use diaper wipes while the circumcision is healing as they can irritate sensitive skin! Clean with plain warm water.
Plastibell (plastic ring)
- Do not use petroleum jelly (Vaseline), diaper cream, or gobs of soap near the head of the penis until the plastic ring has fallen off. This is to keep the ring from sliding off while the penis heals.
- The ring should fall off on its own (you will likely find it during a diaper change) around 5-7 days following the procedure, but anywhere within 3-14 days after the procedure is completely normal.
- While the Plastibell device is in place, use warm water and a washcloth to keep the area clean.
Call Your Doctor If
- There is any bright red bleeding or oozing or if the amount of blood on the front of the diaper is larger than the size of a quarter.
- Your baby does not urinate within 8 hours after the circumcision.
- The redness and swelling around the head of the penis is getting worse.
- There is thick, smelly yellow or green discharge.
- Any fever greater than or equal to 100.4° F. We recommend taking a rectal or axillary (armpit) temperature if your baby is fussier than usual, less active than usual, seems warm, or is not feeding at his baseline.
- Your baby seems very fussy after 1 day.