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About circumcision

Circumcision is a procedure to remove the foreskin from the penis. The foreskin is the sleeve of skin that surrounds the head of the penis. 

You may consider circumcising your son for religious reasons or for medical reasons. Medical reasons to have a circumcision include a condition called phimosis. If your son has this, his foreskin will be too tight, which makes it difficult to pull back over the head of his penis. If your son has repeated infections beneath his foreskin (balanoposthitis), circumcision can also help. 

How can my child prepare for circumcision?

You can choose the consultant and hospital most convenient for your child by entering your treatment into our ‘Consultant finder’.

Your child's surgeon will explain how to prepare and what will happen during the circumcision procedure.

What happens during circumcision?

Before the procedure, your child's surgeon will talk you through the process and ask you to sign a consent form.

The circumcision procedure usually takes place as a day-case procedure so your child can often go home on the same day. Circumcision is usually performed under local anaesthesia in babies and this is injected into the base of the penis. This will numb the area and completely block any pain. Older children and adults may have the circumcision procedure under a general anaesthetic, which means they will be asleep.

Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, your son's surgeon will remove the foreskin with a scalpel, scissors or surgical clamp. He or she will control any bleeding and then stitch together the remaining edges of skin using dissolvable stitches, if necessary. 

Circumcising your son will take around 30 to 45 minutes. If your son has a local anaesthetic, he will be able to leave that day. 

Are there any complications or risks of circumcision?

As with every procedure, there are complications associated with circumcision. Speak to your son's surgeon for more information. 

Complications of circumcision include bleeding and a narrowing of the opening of the penis. Another complication is difficulty passing urine after the procedure. Potentially, there may be some damage to the penis or the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder and out through the penis.

Recovering from circumcision

Your son may have some swelling in his penis that may last for three to four days. It will take a week or two for the circumcision to heal. If your son is school-age, he should be able to return after about a week.

How much does circumcision cost?

For a guide to what you could pay for your son's treatment, click here.

What to do next

Once you have decided that you would like to be treated at an HCA hospital, or would like further information, here's what to do next:

  1. Call one of our advisors on +44 (0) 20 7079 4399 or complete our web enquiry form.
  2. Check with your insurance company that your policy covers your treatment, and obtain authorisation.
  3. Visit or call your GP to obtain a referral letter and then call us to make an appointment to visit your chosen consultant and hospital at a time to suit you.
  4. If you are paying for treatment yourself, click here for a guide price for Circumcision.
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