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What happens during your baby boy's circumcision?

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If the procedure happens when your son is a newborn, he’ll be awake during his circumcision. It'll most likely happen in the hospital. He’ll be placed on his back, with Velcro bands or other restraints used to keep his arms and legs still.

The doctor will clean the penis area with antiseptic, then inject an anesthetic to the base of the penis to ease the pain. Sometimes doctors apply the pain reliever as a cream instead. Your doctor will also recommend swaddling him after the procedure by wrapping him up tightly with a blanket or having him suck on a pacifier dipped in sugar water. Your baby also may be given acetaminophen for pain.

Three different kinds of clamps or plastic rings are used for circumcision: the Gomco clamp, the Plastibell device, and the Mogen clamp. But the procedure is similar for all. The clamp or ring is attached to the penis and the doctor clips off excess foreskin. The ring stays on and will fall off later. The doctor then applies an ointment like petroleum jelly to the penis and wraps it in gauze. It’s usually over in about 10 minutes. If it’s done in the hospital, your baby should be ready to go home in a few hours.

SOURCES:

UpToDate: “Patient education: Circumcision in Baby Boys (Beyond the Basics).”

Mayo Clinic: “Circumcision (Male).”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Newborn Circumcision.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Newborn Male Circumcision.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on May 19, 2019

SOURCES:

UpToDate: “Patient education: Circumcision in Baby Boys (Beyond the Basics).”

Mayo Clinic: “Circumcision (Male).”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Newborn Circumcision.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Newborn Male Circumcision.”

Reviewed by Dan Brennan on May 19, 2019

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