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Health Risks of Circumcision

January 28th, 2016

Health Risks of Circumcision

Health Risks of Circumcision

Like any surgical procedure, circumcision has associated risks. Before you decide whether or not circumcision is the best option for you, it’s important to fully understand all the risks as well as the benefits. Problems that occur after circumcision are rare, but you should be aware that they can occur in some cases.

Short Term Problems of Circumcision

Short-term problems that may occur after the procedure include bleeding from the surgical site, or oozing. These are usually minimal, if they occur. Infection can also occur at the wound site or at the opening of the urethra. Since the urethra is part of the urinary tract, it is possible that bacteria from an infection can migrate to the kidneys, but this is a rare occurrence. The tip of the penis, known as the glans penis, may also become irritated or inflamed. All of these problems, should they occur, are easily treated.

Long Term Problems of Circumcision

Reasons for CircumcisionLong-term complications from a circumcision are very unlikely when your circumcision is performed by an experience urologist. However, these complications are possible. Damage may occur to the opening of the urethra, which is where urine and also semen exit the body. If an infection occurs as a result of circumcision, the penis may be scarred. Scarring can also occur from surgical error.

Surgical errors reported in rare patients include failure to remove the entire foreskin. When this occurs, portions of it remain attached and can cause pain during an erection. In some cases, scar tissue may grow from the area of incision to the tip of the penis. Some individuals may not heal as well as others, and some have the tendency to form keloid scars, which are large areas of scar tissue. If you have had difficulty with excess scar tissue in the past, this is more likely to occur. If excess scar tissue develops, then you may require a second surgery, particularly if the scar tissue blocks the opening of the urethra. There have also been cases reported of accidental removal of the skin of the penis, not just the foreskin. This is very unlikely with an experienced surgeon.

Major complications include excessive bleeding that requires stitches and serious bacterial infections that can result in hospitalization. Finally, an extremely rare complication is partial or full amputation of the tip of the penis.

In the hands of an experienced urologist, serious complications are very unlikely. However, it is important to recognize the potential risk before undergoing any surgical procedure.

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