Adult Circumcision

Common Reasons for Adult Circumcision

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The most common medical reasons for adult circumcision are:

  • Balanitis: Recurrent inflammation of the foreskin
  • Paraphimosis: Inability to pull the retracted foreskin back to position
  • Phimosis: The foreskin is too tight and the skin does not withdraw from the head

The most common nonmedical reasons for adult circumcision

  • Social, cultural, personal issues
  • Cosmetic

Procedure for Adult Circumcision

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Adult circumcision is performed under general anesthesia and takes about an hour. (By comparison, a newborn circumcision takes about 5-10 minutes and is done with a local anesthetic.)

An antibiotic ointment will be applied when the procedure is finished and the area will be loosely wrapped with gauze. Absorbable stitches are used that do not need to be removed. Generally, a urologist will perform a circumcision, but it can also be done by a general surgeon.

Risks of Adult Circumcision

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Adult circumcision is generally very safe with few negative side effects. However, there are some risks associated with adult circumcision including:

  • Bleeding, infection
  • Severe bruising (hematoma)
  • Poor cosmetic result
  • Altered sensation during sex

FAQs and Post-op Care for Adult Circumcision

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How long does the pain last after an adult circumcision?

The pain after a circumcision will generally only last 3-4 days and may begin to subside in as soon as 1-2 days. Oral painkillers are given for post-operative discomfort. You may also use an insulated ice pack or cold compress on the groin in 10-20 minute increments. Notably, because the procedure doesn’t affect the urethra, there should be no additional pain when peeing after an adult circumcision.

How long does it take to heal after an adult circumcision?

The pain, swelling, and most visible signs of the incision will be gone on average around 10 days or within 1-2 weeks. Though rare, if complications arise during or after the procedure, the healing time and pain may last for several weeks.

How long after an adult circumcision before I can resume sexual activity?

While the incision is generally healed within 1-2 weeks, it’s generally recommended that you should avoid sexual activity, including masturbation, for 6-8 weeks.

Does circumcision affect sensitivity and sexual performance?

Everybody is a little different, but there is some evidence to suggest that circumcision may decrease sensitivity, while also improving stamina. This is another reason why it’s important to have a thorough discussion with your doctor about adult circumcision.

Does adult circumcision affect length?

No, circumcision in either adults or newborns does not affect the length or size of the erect penis. The lack of foreskin can make the flaccid penis appear to have less girth.

Does adult circumcision lower the risk of cancer?

There is some evidence to suggest that adult circumcision can lower the risk of phimosis and penile cancer. However, additional studies have shown that this risk can be just as easily mitigated by a modest amount of personal hygiene. There is also no evidence that adult circumcision affects the risk of testicular cancer.