Home men's HealthCircumcision What is male circumcision? advantages and disadvantages

What is male circumcision? advantages and disadvantages

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Male circumcision is a surgical procedure in which the foreskin, the skin that covers the glans of the penis, is removed. Circumcision can be performed for religious or cultural reasons. However, today, in Western countries, the main reason why it is carried out is for health reasons, since it is the indicated treatment for problems such as phimosis.

There are divergent points between those who defend its benefits and those who object to its supposed benefits. However, what is quite clear is that in cases of phimosis or paraphimosis, this intervention is essential. In the following FastlyHealarticle, we show you what male circumcision consists of.

What is male circumcision?

It is a procedure by which the foreskin is removed, which is a piece of skin that is loose at the tip of the human penis and that covers the glans. It has its origin in religious rituals of some cultures, where this procedure is related to an act of submission to God.

Currently, it is done for medical reasons, the main one being phimosis, that is, the inability to retract the foreskin. Another reason for male circumcision is to treat certain infections in the penis.

Circumcision: advantages and disadvantages

Currently, there is a heated debate about whether or not it is necessary to practice it. Proponents of male circumcision even advocate performing it on newborns, as they believe it reduces the risks of getting cancer of the penis and cervical cancer of the future sexual partners of these children. They also think it helps reduce urinary tract infections and the risk of contracting certain sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV.

On the other hand, its detractors think that the foreskin is healthy tissue and plays a vital role in sexuality since its removal reduces sensitivity in the glans. They also believe that the supposed benefits do not justify subjecting a newborn to the pain and suffering caused by this cut, even reducing the mother-child bond. They even go so far as to compare the procedure to female circumcision in the case where there is no apparent medical reason to carry it out.

What is male circumcision?

The principles of circumcision are asepsis, proper excision of the outer and inner preputial skin layers, prevention of bleeding, protection of the glans and urethra, and lastly, aesthetics. The goal of the procedure is to expose the glans enough to prevent phimosis or paraphimosis. Usually, the process is performed under local anesthesia.

There are several methods to perform circumcision, classified into three types. Depending on the patient’s needs, one of them or several can be used. What are these methods for male circumcision? Here we explain the three types:

  • The Gomco clamp: A unique instrument called a probe is used to separate the foreskin from the head of the penis (they are usually held together by a thin membrane). A bell-shaped device is then placed over the glans and under the foreskin (an incision may be made in the foreskin to allow for this). The foreskin is then pulled up and over the hood. A clamp is then tightened around it to reduce blood flow to the area. A scalpel is used to cut and remove the foreskin.
  • The Mogen Clamp: Again, the foreskin is separated from the head of the penis with a probe. The foreskin is then pulled out in front of the head and inserted through a metal clamp with a slot. The clamp is held in place while the foreskin is cut with a scalpel and remains for a few minutes to ensure that the bleeding has been controlled.
  • The Plastibell Technique: This method is similar to the Gomco clamp technique. After separation with a probe, the plastic bell is placed under the foreskin and over the head of the penis. A piece of suture is tied directly around the foreskin, which cuts off the blood supply to the foreskin. A scalpel can then cut the extra foreskin, but the plastic ring is left behind. About 6 to 12 days later, it falls off on its own.

Care after a circumcision

After the procedure is completed, the doctor may apply a gauze impregnated with petroleum jelly. It is essential to follow all instructions provided by your treating physician. Typically, recommended post- circumcision care is as follows:

  • Cleanse the area several times a day with warm water.
  • If it is a baby, a small amount of unscented petroleum jelly should be applied at each diaper change.
  • Your doctor may recommend the application of an antibiotic ointment, which should be applied after cleaning the area.
  • Vaseline should not be used if you have had the Plastibell technique unless directed by your doctor.
  • No other care is required after the region has recovered except regular hygiene.
  • Recovery after male circumcision is fully achieved between 10 and 14 days after the procedure has been performed.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is male circumcision , we recommend that you enter our category of Male reproductive system .

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