Baby circumcision is commonly done relatively early in life. Procedures completed in the first four months are considered newborn circumcisions. If you have made the decision to have your son circumcised, it is recommended to book the procedure as soon as it is convenient for your family.
Appointments are usually available within days. Please review the “Getting Started” section to ensure you are fully informed about the procedure prior to booking.
In this section you will find information about circumcision for newborns. We focus on high-quality, safe, and reliable care to ensure that parents and their son have a safe and positive experience.
Over 40,000 circumcisions have been performed at our clinics over the last two decades. Our goal is to make it simple for you to get the information and services you require. Our doctors and nurses will support you after the circumcision surgery with a hotline for questions and detailed instructions on post-circumcision care for your baby son.
Pollock Clinics Infant Circumcision Procedure
We recommend that you finish feeding your baby prior to coming into the clinic so that he will not be too hungry while you are waiting for the procedure. If your son is hungry upon your arrival, it is ok to feed him within 15 minutes of your arrival to the clinic.
Please read on to learn about the multiple steps we will take to minimize your baby’s discomfort during the short infant circumcision procedure. You can also review our Circumcision Counselling Video for detail on how to prepare for the procedure as well as aftercare instructions.
You will be at our Vancouver or New Westminster circumcision clinic for just over an hour in total, and we want to make that time as pleasant as possible.
All the following steps are taken to ensure your son has minimal discomfort during the procedure.
- On the day of your son’s circumcision, we recommend that you feed your baby just before your leave your home to ensure comfort in our office.
- You should give your son 1 mL of Tempra or Tylenol an hour before his appointment. Do not give Motrin, Aleve, Advil, Ibuprofen etc.
- If your baby is hungry when you arrive, you can feed him for 15 minutes as soon as you arrive.
- Please also remember to bring 2 receiving blankets.
- If one partner is not coming, a written note from him/her will be required consenting to have circumcision performed by Dr. Chang or Dr. Pollock. ***Click here to print a consent or you can copy this on a hand written note***.
- Circumcisions are performed in groups of 5-6 families; as a result, please be on time out of respect for other families.
***Please note that we do not have enough space for more than the 2 parents and the baby. Please make arrangements to have brothers and sisters and relatives at home as best as you can, or have 1 parent bring them into the hallway or lobby downstairs after registration so they do not disrupt other families.
How to care for your baby in the first 24 hours following the circumcision:
- Keep your son snugly swaddled (especially his legs). The more he kicks his legs, the less comfortable he may be. After 24 hours, you no longer need to swaddle him unless he finds comfort in doing so.
- There will be a square white gauze with Vaseline placed over the head of your son’s penis. Leave the gauze in place and remove it after 24 hours. If it has fallen off, not to worry- just replace it with a fresh 3×3 gauze with some Vaseline on it and put it over the penis then close the diaper.
- Please check your son’s diaper every hour for the next 24 hours to look for any abnormal bleeding.
- If the white gauze is soiled with urine don’t worry just leave it alone. If it is soiled with stool, remove the gauze gently and rinse his bum with warm water and replace the gauze with Vaseline on it.
- There will also be a long white gauze wrapped around your son’s penis. Leave this gauze in place for 24 hours as well. If it falls off earlier, don’t worry just leave it off. If it is dry or stuck when you are trying to remove it after 24 hours, you may need to pull slightly harder and expect that there may be a little bleeding when you do this. This is normal and you may need to apply some direct pressure on the head of the penis as we taught you in the clinic. You may use some warm water to wet the dressing to help remove it. If there is some bleeding, maintain firm pressure for 3-5 minutes.
- No gauze bandages are required after the first 24 hours, just ointment.
- It is normal for your son to be a little irritable or very sleepy for the first 24 hours following the circumcision.
General care following the circumcision:
For the following weeks after circumcision, put a generous amount of Vaseline on your finger and rub it over the incision site placing a thick layer of ointment over the entire head of the penis.
It is important to push the skin down off the head of the penis if it has moved up a little to ensure it heals properly just behind the back rim of the head. Do not do any pushing on the skin for the first two days because it will be swollen from the surgery. It is important to avoid “skin bridging” which results from the shaft skin or mucosa attaching to the head of the penis. If you are unsure of the appearance of your son’s penis, bring him to see one of our doctors, and they will adjust the skin for you if required.
Most babies like to nurse in a quiet environment following the circumcision. A baby who cries for more than a few minutes is usually suffering from air swallowed during the circumcision and needs to be burped.
Healing is promoted by keeping the area clean and dry but do not bathe your son until our doctors say it is okay to do so (generally after 3-4 days). In the meantime, warm water and a wash cloth are preferred for cleaning the area around the penis. Wiping his groin area and under the scrotum with warm water and cloth every day is good enough. Avoid moistened towelettes, alcohol, powders, and lotion since these may cause irritation.
Disposable diapers are strongly recommended for the first week since they tend to be less irritating, and they help keep the area dryer and cleaner. It is better both before and for about three days following the circumcision to restrict the handling of your baby to just a few people. Also, avoid unnecessary travel as car seats can be irritating after circumcision.
The healing process after circumcision:
Healing is usually rapid and occurs in several stages. Remember that a circumcision is like any other cut. There are many factors that influence healing; but most importantly, every child heals differently.
First, the cut edge seals and bleeding ceases within minutes, hours, or even over the course of an entire day. The area just behind the glans (especially the underside) will become swollen. Sometimes parents mistake this for a blister. In fact, this is NORMAL and will subside within a week or two.
In the first two days, there may be an off-white or yellowish, patchy appearance or discoloration of the glans. These patches are a type of scab and are associated with normal healing. After a few days the area where the skin was cut may look green and yellow. This is NOT pus or infection. It is part of the normal healing process and it can took this color for up to two weeks after the circumcision. Some physicians are not familiar with this healing process and may mistake this for infection. Please follow up with our doctors if you are concerned.
You will also notice that the glans appears red and glossy sometimes purple or blue. This is because the skin covering the glans of an uncircumcised penis is mucous membrane (like the skin inside your cheek). Once exposed, the mucous membrane will toughen (or keratinize), and, in time, take on a normal appearance. It takes about a month for the penis to take on a normal, healed appearance.
The appearance of the penis during healing:
A common concern for parents is aesthetics. Remember that penises come in all shapes and sizes. While most penises “look normal” within days of the circumcision, some do not take on a “completely normal appearance” until after the penis starts to grow.
For example, there may be more mucosal tissue on one side compared to the other; this is a normal anatomical variation after circumcision that will resolve with time after your son grows older.
Furthermore, although the penis may appear smaller after circumcision, it is not!
This appearance is mostly due to the relaxation of skin surrounding the penis, which prior to circumcision holds the penis more erect.
On occasion, a poor aesthetic result occurs when too little or too much skin is removed, or more likely when the cut edge of the skin attaches too high or too low along the length of the penis. The latter is sometimes caused by the presence of a hydrocele or penile erections.
In nearly all these cases, the penis will heal properly, and, in time, take on a normal appearance.
If you are concerned in anyway about the appearance of your son’s penis, please call to consult us immediately.
Sometimes parents come to us worried about a band on the bottom of the penis fearing that it needs to be cut. This band is called the frenulum which carries the frenular artery and is normal.
It is similar to the band under the tongue (the part that is cut in some babies with tongue-tie). It is rare that an infant frenulum would present any issues requiring our intervention.
As always, please ask us your questions, but do not be unduly concerned. If in doubt, have us check your son’s penis to ensure proper healing, and it will almost certainly be fine.
Common Concerns From Parents After Circumcision
Apply a generous amount of Vaseline over the incision and the entire penis head with each diaper change. This is done for 2 weeks.
When there is a good amount of pubic fat or when the penile shaft is no greater than its diameter, the penis may tend to retract inward. This is normal. If your son fits this profile you can reduce the chance of a concealed penis by applying Vaseline to the entire glans once a day until the glans takes on a healed appearance (up to 6 months). To expose the glans that has retracted inwards, place gentle downward pressure on either side of the penis and consult one of our doctors if the head
cannot be fully exposed. This may take months up to a few years before the penis stays persistently outward.
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