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Circumcising your baby

Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis.

Deciding whether to have your baby son circumcised is a personal choice for parents. It’s a decision which is often based on religious or traditional factors. If other members of your family have been circumcised, you may decide in favour of circumcision, a procedure which is normally performed within a few weeks of the baby’s birth.

In Australia today, just under 20% of parents choose to have their baby boys circumcised.(1)

Benefits of circumcision

There are health benefits to newborn circumcision:

  1. Reduction in the risk of urinary tract infection.
  2. Reduction in the risk of HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections in later life.
  3. Reduction in risk of cancer of the penis (a very uncommon cancer).
  4. Elimination of the need for circumcision in later life (which is sometimes required for medical reasons).
  5. Possible reduction in the risk of prostate cancer, a condition that affects 1 in 9 Australian men.(2,3)

Risks of circumcision

Complications are very rare when circumcision is performed by a skilled medical professional. They can include bleeding and infection.(4)

How Dr Hanna performs circumcision

Circumcision is performed using aseptic (sterile) technique in an operating theatre just like any major surgery.

Dr Hanna firsts injects local anaesthetic around the base of the penis. This is called a dorsal nerve block or ring block. Once it has taken effect, he releases the skin around the head of the penis and uses a small plastic device called a ‘Plastibell’ which is sutured in place underneath the baby’s foreskin. The foreskin is then neatly cut over the edge of the Plastibell.

The Plastibell and the suturing will fall off naturally, usually after a few days when the area has healed.

Dr Hanna provides his mobile phone number for all parents after the circumcision of their son. He is happy to be contacted if the parents are at all concerned about anything in relation to the circumcision.

Circumcision FAQs

How long does the circumcision procedure take?

The procedure normally takes about 20 to 30 minutes.

How long does the penis take to heal?

It can take up to 7 to 14 days for the bell to fall off and about 4 to 6 weeks for the area to completely heal.

Will my baby feel pain?

Local anaesthetic will make the area numb, so your baby shouldn’t feel discomfort during the procedure. Some babies are upset about being held still and undressed. Sucking on sugar invariably makes them happy and calm.

Is bleeding normal?

NO. You may see a few drops of blood in his nappy for the first 3 days. If you see more than a teaspoonful of blood, call Dr Hanna’s rooms/or his mobile right away.

Is there a Medicare or private health insurance rebate?

Yes, there is a Medicare rebate for circumcision. Check with your private health insurer to find out if you can claim a health fund rebate.

Do I need a referral?

You need a referral from your family GP if your baby is delivered outside of a hospital where Dr Hanna is accredited i.e., The Mater Hospital, North Shore Private Hospital, Northern Beaches Hospital and Sydney Adventist Hospital.


REFERENCES

North Shore Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
Phone: 02 9489 4881
Fax: 02 9487 1527
San Delivery Suite: 02 9480 4161

Wahroonga Specialist Centre
Suite 5
176 Fox Valley Road
(Cnr. Comenarra Parkway)
WAHROONGA NSW 2076

St Leonards Square
Suite 207
490 Pacific Highway
ST LEONARDS NSW 2065

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