Circumcision is a surgical operation that removes the foreskin, a skin that covers the glans penis. It is a term derived from Latin, which means to cut around. Circumcision surgery has been performed for over 5,000 years, much for religious reasons, such as Muslims and Jews.

What is circumcision surgery?

Circumcision surgery serves to remove the foreskin (the retractable skin that covers the glans, better known as the “head” of the penis). Its indication is due to the proven reduction in the incidence of urological diseases. This is because the intervention facilitates the hygiene of the male genitalia, preventing several pathologies.

When is the intervention indicated?

From a medical point of view, circumcision is indicated to correct phiosis (inability to retraction preputial and glans exposure) in young people and adults. This condition is considered a risk factor for:

  • sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as trichomoniasis, HPV, HIV and genital herpes;
  • urinary infections;
  • some types of cancer.

In addition, the procedure is usually recommended to facilitate the cure of repeat infections. That’s because, it ends up with moisture on site and facilitates hygiene.

In children, phiosis is considered normal, resolving spontaneously until around five years of age. Before that, treatment is only necessary if there are complications, such as recurrent urinary infections, urination changes, among others.

How is the procedure performed?

Circumcision surgery is basically done to separate the foreskin from the glans. In practice, it removes loose skin that covers the “head” of the penis, so that it is exposed without difficulty.

Experts explain that this excess skin acts as a reservoir for microorganisms harmful to health. Its prolonged contact with the penile mucosa, in turn, facilitates access to the bloodstream, triggering a number of problems.

That said, let’s get the procedure done. There are two possible techniques: ring circumcision and postectomy.

In ring circumcision, the doctor places a plastic ring that disrupts blood circulation in the region, causing the death of the spare skin. Without irrigation, she falls on her own.

When this technique is used in babies, surgery is usually quick. It is performed in surgical centers with mild sedation and, in five or 10 minutes, is completed. In adults, the time required is approximately one hour, with a full recovery of up to one week.

Another possibility is the performance of the classic postectomy (not indicated for babies). In this case, the procedure is performed with local or general anesthesia. To perform it, the surgeon makes an incision in the foreskin and mucosa, removes excess skin and then rebuilds the region of the penile brake.

What are the benefits of circumcision?

The main benefits of circumcision are the reduction of the risks of developing urinary tract infections and the lower chance of acquiring STDs. And there’s more! Thanks to the procedure, the chances of developing penile cancer also decrease, as well as those of cervical cancer in the partner (cervical cancer – mainly caused by HPV).

Other advantages are the prevention of inflammations of the glans and also of the foreskin (balanitis and balanopostitis). In addition, the procedure serves as a treatment for parafimosis, a condition in which the skin does not return to its original position.

But, attention: these factors do not mean that uncircumcised men have no other alternatives to protect themselves against diseases and infections in the penis. It is worth remembering that good health conditions can also be obtained with proper hygiene and condom use.

What are the disadvantages of circumcision?

The risks involved in circumcision range from pain to the possibility of bleeding and infection in the operated region. In addition, problems such as irritation in the glans and inflammation in the opening leading to the urethra may occur. However, when correctly indicated and done in a referral clinic, by professionals prepared and in appropriate environments, the chances of complications are minimal.