Circumcision Recovery


Circumcision is usually performed on newborn boys: it involves removing the foreskin, either with a scalpel or with a small plastic ring called a plastibell. Recovery from the surgery, and healing of the incision, takes about 10 days.

If baby was circumcised using a plastibell, the small plastic ring remaining around the penis will sometimes take more than 10 days to fall off. The penis may appear red or yellowish while it's healing - this is a normal side effect of the healing process.

You'll need to clean baby's circumcision incision several times daily. Do this with warm water when you change baby's diaper: this ensures urine or feces don't get into the incision, which could potentially cause an infection. You can use a peri-bottle to gently squirt water onto the penis. This is a plastic bottle you can squeeze to release water: it's often used for women who've just given birth, to clean their vaginal areas and perineum without having to touch potentially sore parts. It's also great for washing baby's penis after circumcision. There's no need to use soap on the incision: it could sting baby.

When you wash baby's penis, ensure his umbilical stump stays dry, if he has one: most babies are circumcised in their first few days or weeks of life, so they'll also still have part of the umbilical cord attached to their bellybuttons. This stump needs to stay dry, so that it can eventually fall off.

Put a thin coating of Vaseline or other petroleum jelly on the incision, to make sure it doesn't dry and stick to the baby's diaper - when you're changing baby's diaper, you could accidentally pull on or remove the scab that's forming on the incision, hurting baby and/or hindering the healing process. Don't use petroleum jelly with perfumes or other additives: make sure you use pure petroleum jelly, as additives could cause infections.

Your doctor may have wrapped baby's penis in gauze post-circumcision. He or she may tell you to keep wrapping the penis in gauze and changing the dressing when you change diapers. Petroleum jelly is good for making sure the dressing doesn't stick to the incision.

If your doctor tells you to put antibiotic ointment on baby's circumcision incision, follow your doctor's directions as to how much to apply and how often.

If the penis is red, and becomes redder in three to five days, go back to the doctor - this could be a sign baby's penis is infected. Also, watch for baby to urinate within six to eight hours post-operation: if he doesn't, tell your doctor. If the incision keeps bleeding, that's another warning sign to tell your doctor about.


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