Circumcision (Adult)

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 > Circumcision (Adult)

What is a circumcision?

A circumcision is an operation to remove your foreskin.

Circumcisions are usually recommended only for the following medical reasons.

  • Tightening of the foreskin.
  • Balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO), which is an uncommon condition where the foreskin becomes thickened and white.
  • Pain during sex.
  • Infections of the foreskin that keep coming back.

Are there any alternatives to a circumcision?

If BXO is suspected, a circumcision is the only dependable way to cure the condition.

For other conditions, a dorsal slit operation or a preputioplasty may be recommended. These operations involve widening the foreskin but not removing it.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but various anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes about 30 minutes.

Your surgeon will remove the foreskin and seal off any small blood vessels. They will stitch the two edges of skin together.

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day or the day after.

Your penis will usually look swollen and bruised, and may feel sore for the first week.

Do not have sex for 3 weeks.

You should be able to return to work after a week to 10 days.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

What complications can happen?

General complications of any operation

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Unsightly scarring of your skin

Specific complications of this operation

  • Not enough foreskin is removed
  • Too much foreskin is removed
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Developing an ulcer at the tip of your penis
  • Narrowing of the opening of your urethra
  • Damage to your urethra
  • Reduced pleasure from sex
  • Injury to the end of your penis
This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice your healthcare team gives you. This information is published under license from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print, download or otherwise reproduce it.

A circumcision is an operation to remove the foreskin.

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