infants' circumcision

Post-Operative Care for Infants’ Circumcision

Post-operative care for any surgery is imperative. However, when it concerns the newborns and infants, it connotes being particularly careful with everything. Utmost care should be taken to ensure the fast healing and safety of the infants. So what to expect at home after the infants’ circumcision, and how to go along the proper care. Let’s have a look in detail.

Circumcision means the removing of the foreskin from the tip of the penis usually done under local anesthesia. Newborn babies usually get it within the first few days/ weeks after birth. The Doctors here use the ring method when circumcising infants, in this procedure there is no cutting or incisions made, therefore stitches are not needed. The ring comes off itself within 5-8 days after the procedure. Yet after circumcision, the redness and swelling of the penis are normal. However, if it gets severe, immediately consult the doctor.

In general, circumcision heals in 5-8 days, and the babies are fussier during this time. So, the parents/ guardian should take extra care. Also, the rest is the pre-condition for less pain and quick recuperation. In fact, sleeping is the best for infants’ recovery though many babies may experience a change in sleeping patterns.

Post-Operation Care – (Important Heading)

You should follow the doctor’s instructions specifically for best care of the patient:

  • For the first 24-48 hours special care needs to be taken whilst changing the diapers that the baby does not hurt himself by kicking on the operated area.
  • For the first 24-48 hours try to fasten the diapers loosely or avoid tight clothing to prevent too much pressure on the penis. It is recommended to use a diaper and wrap to keep the baby warm instead of pants.
  • An important point to keep in mind is don’t use diaper wipes immediately after infants’ circumcision, to avoid disturbing the operated area.
  • In addition, with each diaper change, gently put on the disinfectant cream (as prescribed by the GP) to the penis area till the ring falls off. It will prevent the baby’s penis from sticking to the diaper and avoid infection.
  • Handwashing before and after touching the circumcision area is a must to avoid spreading infections.
  • When washing the baby’s penis or changing diapers, avoid soap, hydrogen peroxide, or alcohol. You can simply use plain/salted warm water to wash it gently or have warm salt baths.
  • There is a dressing/gauze bandage put on top of the plastic ring. This will fall off by itself.
  • The plastic ring will fall off within 5-8 days of the operation.
  • Once the ring comes off you might notice some inflammation and/or a whitish or yellowish tissue appear on the head of the penis. You do not remove this coating, as this is part of the normal healing process. It will soon go away.


It is always best to avoid giving baths to your baby in the first 24 hours of the circumcision. Sponge baths on the day of surgery is fine avoiding the penis area. After that when washing the baby’s penis or changing diapers, you can simply use plain/salted warm water to wash it very gently or have warm salt baths.

Pain Control & Relief 

Although during the procedure the Doctor uses a local anesthetic pain is a common after-effect of the circumcision surgery, especially when the anesthetic effect subsides. So instead of going for over-the-counter medicines, stick to the medication prescribed by the doctor or nurse practitioner. Do not ever mix pain medications at once, even in extreme pain and crying. Nevertheless, make sure to follow what and how the doctor prescribes.

When visiting the doctor/hospital is necessary? 

It is highly recommended to visit the doctor for a follow-up checkup of infants’ circumcision (between 5-8 days). Usually it is between 5-8 days when the ring will come off. However, here we discuss the conditions when you should contact the Doctor, even if it is earlier than the follow up visit.

  • Or if the infant has a fever, high-pitched crying, vomiting, poor feeding, or showing similar symptoms please see your local GP.
  • Difficulty with urination or not peeing after the surgery, please see your local GP.
  • Excessive bleeding (in large amounts or spots of blood). You need to consult the GP that did the procedure or visit the Emergency Department. However, a small amount of blood-tinged drainage on the diaper smaller than a 5-cent piece isn’t something to worry about.

 A baby should NOT have a circumcision if:

  • There is a family history of a bleeding disorder
  • There is a congenital abnormality of the penis
  • There is a medical disorder in the newborn eg. Hypothyroid, Heart Disease other Infectious Disease.

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