This short article is dedicated to male circumcision. Circumcision is a minor surgical procedure that is usually carried out by urologists. In Europe, it is performed due to its health benefits, in some countries it has an important religious aspect (Arabic countries, Israel), or it just became a widespread habit (USA).


The operation is performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. The procedure is very simple and when uncomplicated, it takes less than half an hour.





The preparation depends on the type of surgery. Surgical intervention in local anesthesia does not need any special preparation except of shaving the pubic area. Surgery under general anesthesia should be performed on empty stomach and it should be preceded by preoperative examination.

Post-operative care

The wound will heal within a few weeks. Masturbation and sexual intercourse should be avoided for 2-4 weeks after the surgery. Healing of the wound can be accelerated by dipping the circumcised penis into a solution of chamomile, which improves the healing. In circumcised men, the newly exposed glans is very sensitive and every touch can be painful. However, this discomfort disappears within days to weeks.


From a medical point of view, the main reason of circumcision is narrowed foreskin (phimosis). Circumcision is also frequently performed in short frenulum, which is typically associated with phimosis. Other possible reasons are religious (Jews, Moslems) or sanitary (significantly better hygiene).

Acute circumcision is sometimes performed in acute condition known as paraphimosis. It is a situation where the foreskin is so narrowed that while dragging it over the glans, it gets stuck and can not be pulled back over the glans. The glans gets strangled and its tissue is threatened by ischemia and necrosis.


Circumcision performed for health reasons in phimosis has obvious benefits - it significantly improves the quality of sexual life and prevents the occurrence of dangerous paraphimosis. In addition, it improves local hygiene and lower incidence of penile cancer is reported in circumcised men. It is also assumed that circumcised men have increased sexual stamina, but this it is rather individual.


The question of circumcision without any medical reason is controversial. It is certainly advantageous for better hygiene, but on the other hand, every surgery has its complications, including the circumcision. Personally, I would consider any circumcision without medical indications as rather unnecessary surgery.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources