Care of the Circumcised and Uncircumcised Infant
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis. If your baby passes the criteria for circumcision( well infant, normal anatomy) and if you have a signed the permit, your obstetrician will perform the procedure in the nursery before you go home.
Plastibell Circumsion: Several different methods are used to circumcise a baby boy. Your obstetrician determines the method used. If the plastibell device is used, the plastic rim usually drops off 5-10 days after circumcision. No special dressing is required. A dark brown or black ring encircling the plastic rim is perfectly normal and will disappear when the rim falls off. The baby’s penis can be cleansed by squeezing warm water over the circumcision site. Do not pick at crusts, clots or the plastic rim. The rim will fall off by itself as will the crusts of dried blood.
Open Circumcision: There are several different types of circumcision which we will call “open” because there is not a plastic rim covering the cut foreskin. The care is essentially the same for all “open” types. Vaseline gauze will be applied initially. If the gauze falls off before 24 hours and there is no bleeding, there is no need to reapply the dressing. If there is bleeding, apply GENTLE pressure to the penis for 5-10 minutes. If the pressure does not clot the blood and stop the bleeding, notify your Obstetrician. Always wash your hands prior to dealing with an open wound area. If your baby’s penis is sticking to the diaper, you may apply Vaseline to the circumcision site. If the penis does not stick, no treatment is needed. During the time the penis is healing, cleanse it with warm water only. If the gauze is still on after 24 hours, remove it gently. If it is dried or sticking, you may rinse with warm water or Vaseline to help loosen the last layer next to the raw skin. A second person may need to hold your baby’s legs to keep the baby from kicking the site. Do not try to remove the dired blood or crusts that may initially form as the skin is healing.
Notify our office if: Your baby does not urinate within 24 hours; the plastibell does not fall off in 10 days; any sign of infection such as foul odor or purulent discharge.
If your son is not circumcised, there is no special care necessary. Do not attempt to forcibly retract the foreskin. As the penis grows, the foreskin loosens. There may by a whitish discharge around the tip of the penis- this is called smegma. Gently clean and wash as usual. As the foreskin loosens, it should be gently pulled back for washing and then returned to its normal position to prevent constriction and swelling. The foreskin may not be retractable until your son is 3-4 years old.