Circumcision at UnityPoint Health Waterloo - Center for Urology

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Circumcision

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin covering the head of the penis.

Why is circumcision being performed?

For some families, the choice to circumcise is based on religious beliefs. It can also be based on hygiene or a means of preventive health as circumcision decreases the risk of urinary tract infections. However, less than 1% of uncircumcised males  will be affected. Other problems such as penile irritation, inflammation, infection and cancer are more common in absence of circumcision.

The procedure carries potential risks, as with any surgery. It can be painful, which has made the use of anesthetic more common.

How is a circumcision done?

The procedure generally takes bout 10 minutes. A special device will be attached to the penis to allow accurate removal of the foreskin.

For older boys and adults, general anesthesia may be used along with additional steps, such as suturing to prevent excess bleeding.