Adult circumcision is a procedure that involves the surgical removal of the foreskin. While circumcision is often performed on male newborns, especially in the United States, adult circumcision is much less common. That said, many adult men have this procedure done for various reasons.
The most common medical reasons for adult circumcision are to treat phimosis, a condition where the foreskin is overly tight to the point it may be difficult to retract it over the glans, and paraphimosis, where the foreskin is retracted and unable to return to the original position due to tightness. When the foreskin is removed via circumcision, this is no longer a problem.
Other medical reasons for circumcision are balanitis/posthitis (inflammation of the foreskin), tumors on the penis or foreskin, excessive foreskin, and tears in the frenulum. Circumcision can also make washing the penis easier, decrease the chance of urinary tract infections and possibly sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, and a decreased risk of penile cancer.
The most common risks associated with circumcision are bleeding and infection after the surgery. In extremely rare cases, the foreskin may not be cut at the right length, the foreskin may fail to heal properly, or the foreskin may reattach to the end of the penis.
Many may also have social, religious, or personal reasons for choosing circumcision as well. In any case, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of circumcision when deciding whether or not it is right for you.
The procedure is relatively simple. First, the penis and surrounding area are washed in preparation for the procedure. You will be given local anesthesia to numb the area. Once the area is numb, incisions will be made on the foreskin, which is then removed. The incisions are closed with stitches, the area is covered with ointment, and the area is dressed to allow it to heal. The procedure is quick, and should only take around 60 minutes.
Once out of the procedure, the area may be tender or sore, so it is recommended that you have a family member or a friend drive you home. You may shower after 48 hours, and you should not use a hot tub or pool for at least 2 weeks after the surgery. It can be helpful to switch to briefs or boxer briefs for added support, and to reduce friction on the penis. You may do the basic wound care as instructed. If you believe you have an infection, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Sexual activity should be avoided for at least 4-6 weeks after surgery, as an erection can cause the incisions to open. Use of a condom may be recommended for up to 2-3 months to avoid friction on the healing scar. Generally, school and work may be resumed immediately, although up to a week off may be beneficial to some, especially those in physically demanding jobs.