Circumcision is a minor surgical procedure performed to remove the foreskin (or prepuce) that covers the head or glans of the penis. The circumcision procedure has been performed for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient Egypt and Israel. The costs associated with circumcision are not always covered by insurance, so it’s important to have your coverage reviewed by our office staff to determine out-of-pocket expenses.
Prior to the procedure, the penis is numbed to prevent any discomfort. After a special clamp is applied, the foreskin is removed. Bleeding is minimal and controlled by a small bandage. The procedure does not affect the urethra or interfere with urination. Most circumcisions are completed within a day or two of birth.
The foreskin is a retractable piece of skin that provides coverage and some protection to the head of the penis, helping to prevent germs and foreign material from entering the urethra. The foreskin must be carefully cleaned to prevent odor, irritation, inflammation and a buildup of debris. In some men, the foreskin can become scarred or contracted, making erections very painful and interfering with intercourse. Some people believe the foreskin may enhance sexual pleasure, but numerous studies have found this not to be true.
Removing the foreskin reduces the risk or urinary tract infections that occur when the foreskin is not properly cared for, and it also makes the penis much easier to clean and to keep clean. Circumcision also helps reduce the risk of sexually-transmitted disease and lowers the risk of penile cancer. Finally, circumcision has psychological benefits for some men and boys, helping them “fit in” and also helping them feel more confident during sex, especially since studies have found women and men find a circumcised penis more attractive.
Circumcision does carry a very small risk of scarring, and it’s important to have an experienced doctor perform the surgery so any scarring caused by the incision is minimized and properly located. As with any type of surgical procedure, there’s also a very small risk of infection.
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