Circumcision Information

Making an Informed Choice

Making an Informed Choice

Circumcision is a non-therapeutic procedure, which means it is NOT medically necessary. Parents who decide to circumcise their newborns often do so for religious, social or cultural reasons.
After reviewing the scientific evidence for and against circumcisions, the Canadian Pediatric Society does not recommend routine circumcision.

Health benefits include:

  • Decreased risk of urinary tract infections
  • Decreased risk of penile cancer

Health risk include:

  • Bleeding and infection
  • Rarely, circumcision might result in foreskin problems such as:
    • The foreskin might be cut too short or too long.
    • The foreskin might fail to heal properly.
    • The remaining foreskin might reattach to the end of the penis, requiring minor surgical repair.

Circumcision might not be an option if certain blood-clotting disorders are present or if the baby has a malformation of the penis or urinary tract. In addition, it might not be appropriate for premature babies or those who still require medical care in a hospital nursery.

Overview of the Procedure for Newborn Circumcision

The procedure normally takes less than 10 minutes and is performed in an exam room at the clinic, usually within 8 weeks of birth.

Approximately 30 minutes – 1 hour prior to the circumcision, the penis and surrounding areas are cleansed, and a topical anesthetic will be applied to the penis. Tylenol elixir will be given to your baby. At the start of the procedure, sucrose 24% solution will be given for comfort. This has proven to decrease pain during the procedure. During the procedure, your baby will lie on their
back with their arms bundled up and legs restrained. The foreskin will be removed as shown in the following procedure.
Afterwards, the penis will be covered with an ointment, such as petroleum jelly (ie. Vaseline®) or antibiotic ointment.
If your baby is fussy as the anesthetic wears off, hold him gently – being careful to avoid putting pressure on the penis. Don’t be afraid to give some more Tylenol.


We use the PlastiBell® device at our clinic.

To begin, an incision is made in the top of the foreskin.

The PlastiBell® is placed over the head of the penis and the foreskin is pulled over the PlastiBell®.

A ligature is tied around the foreskin over the tying groove in the PlastibBell®. Excess skin beyond the ligature is trimmed away. The PlastibBell® will separate and fall off within 3 – 10 days. Allow this process to happen on it’s own. Do not pull off the PlastibBell® device.

Your Baby’s After Care

After the procedure, the tip of the penis is likely to be tender appearing at first. It is normal for the penis to look red, swollen or bruised. You might notice a yellow crust on the tip of the penis or a yellow film may appear when the ring and string fall off. This is all a part of the normal healing process.

Note: a dark brown or black area around the ring is natural. This will disappear when the ring drops off.

No special dressing is required, and your baby can be bathed and diapered as if they had not been circumcised. Vaseline ® can be used as a protective barrier for 2-3 days, let the ring fall off, then use Vaseline ® again for approximately 30 days. This helps to prevent re-adhesion. Your baby will void (pass urine) through the Vaseline ®.

The result is a clean, well-healed line of the incision.

Be sure to notify your doctor immediately if any of the following occurs,

  • Regular urination doesn’t resume within 12 hours of the circumcision
  • The plastic ring has not fallen off within 10 days
  • The ring has slipped up the shaft of the penis
  • Unusual swelling, persistent bleeding or redness at the tip of the penis is present
  • Foul-smelling drainage from the tip of the penis is present
  • Healing does not proceed as described by your doctor

About Dr. Tiffany

Dr. Matthew Tiffany is a family physician who has worked in the community for over 8 years. He splits his time between the Ottawa Valley Family Health Team and Almonte General Hospital Emergency Department.

He has performed over/or been a part of over 700 circumcision procedures to date.
Contact us for more information or to book an appointment.

Contact us for more information or to book an appointment.

95 Spring Street, Almonte, ON K0A 1A0
Phone: 613-256-9370 ext 1
Fax: 613-256-0949