Are you considering circumcision for your son? Mina Sehhat, M.D., your San Jose, CA, pediatrician, shares some important information about the procedure.

What is circumcision?

Circumcision involves removing the foreskin, a portion of skin that covers the head of the penis. Boys in many cultures undergo circumcision during the first few days of their lives. Although the procedure is not medically necessary, it is commonly performed. you can decide if circumcision is best for your son.

What are the benefits of circumcision?

If your son is circumcised, his risk of developing the following conditions and diseases will drop:

  • Penile cancer
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Infections of the foreskin
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Phimosis ( a condition that occurs when the foreskin cannot be retracted)

What are the drawbacks of circumcision?

Circumcision complications are rare, but they can include:

  • Damage to the penis
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Narrowed urinary opening due to infection

What happens during the circumcision procedure?

Doctors once believed that newborns couldn't feel pain, but today, we know that is not true. Before the procedure begins, your son's pediatrician will either apply a topical cream to the penis or inject a small amount of anesthetic directly into the skin. The anesthetic will help ensure that your baby remains comfortable during the circumcision. Your son may also be offered a pacifier coated sugar water.

Young babies can be surprisingly active. To protect your child during the circumcision, he will be placed in a special plastic seat that prevents movement. After applying an antiseptic to the penis, your child's pediatrician will isolate the foreskin using a special clamp or plastic bell and remove it with a scalpel. The entire procedure is completed in just a few minutes.

After the circumcision, the pediatrician may place a gauze bandage or plastic ring on the penis to protect it from infection. Your son's penis may look a little red for approximately one week, but it will quickly return to normal.

Do you have questions about circumcision? Call Mina Sehhat, M.D., your

San Jose, CA, pediatrician, at (408) 975-7680 to discuss the procedure.