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Circumcision is a surgical procedure to remove the foreskin, the skin covering the end of the penis. Surgery is done in the operating room under anesthesia. Circumcision may be done at any age. Your child can go home the same day. This handout will tell you how to care for your child at home after circumcision.


  • Prevents or treats phimosis. Phimosis is when the skin at the tip of the penis is too tight to be pulled back to show the head of the penis. It is normal for the skin to not be able to be pulled back in infants and toddlers and often not until puberty.

  • Prevent or treat balanitis. Balanitis is redness, swelling and irritation of the head of the penis.

  • To decrease the risk of urinary tract infections in infant boys.

Home Care

The penis will be red, swollen and may ooze a small amount of blood or fluid after surgery, this is normal.

Use acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for pain. Your doctor may prescribe stronger pain medicine if your child is older.

Your child may have a bandage over the penis. This should be removed at home in 48 hours. After the bandage comes off, apply Vaseline to the site several times a day or with each diaper change, for 5 days.

Your child may have pain with diaper changes. Gently wipe the penis. Pain will improve as the penis heals, in about a week.

Your child may bathe as instructed by your doctor, within 24-48 hours. Frequent bathing helps the penile skin to heal and may comfort your child.

Your child will have stitches. The stitches will dissolve on their own, usually in 2-4 weeks, but up to 90 days.


  • No straddling, rough play or swimming for 2-3 weeks.

  • Your child may do other activities when he feels comfortable.

When to Call

If you have any problems, please call your clinic or doctor.

Who to Call

Pediatric Urology Clinic

Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm


After hours, nights and weekends, the clinic number will be answered by the paging operator. Ask for the Urology Resident on call. Give your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.

The toll-free number is 1-800-323-8942.