Circumcision is the world’s oldest operation. It remains one of the most commonly performed operations, involving the surgical removal of the skin at the end of the male penis. It leaves the tip of the penis exposed.
Many religions have a requirement for circumcision. In some cultures, circumcision is practised as a rite of passage into adult life.
Most boys who are circumcised for non-religious reasons may need it due to a very tight skin opening, or after several episodes of infection of the skin.
Daily retraction, or pulling back of the foreskin, and washing and perhaps wiping after passing urine are hygiene measures that can be practiced to prevent skin infection (Balanitis).
When a circumcision is necessary, it is usually done with a local or general anaesthetic, the skin is cut, bleeding is stopped and the stitches are put in.
Most of the stitches used will drop off on their own. The main complication of a circumcision is bleeding, but it is not very common.
Generally boys need at least a week’s rest after a circumcision.