One of the most frequently asked questions about circumcision is “at what age should I circumcise my baby?” or similar queries along that line. The simple answer is that the World Health organisation states that a baby must weigh more than 2.5kg (or 5.5 pounds) in order for circumcision to be safely carried out.
Our highly trained and experienced doctors treat patients of all ages, the youngest being only two days old. Many parents choose for their child to be circumcised within the first few weeks after birth as it is a safe and simple procedure and healing is quick.
Why circumcision may be delayed – “Can an older baby be circumcised?”
Whilst it is more common for babies to be circumcised when they are younger than 12 weeks of age, there are certain circumstances where circumcision must be delayed. For example, for babies that are born as a premature infant and are under the WHO’s stated minimum weight for circumcision to be carried out, there must be a delay until the child is healthy and strong enough to undergo the procedure.
There are a number of conditions that indicate that it would not be safe to circumcise a baby, including certain acute illnesses, or bleeding disorders such as haemophilia or thrombocytopenia. Conditions including hypospadias, chordee, a webbed penis or a buried penis also make circumcision in young babies a dangerous procedure.
Some parents may decide not to circumcise their newborn, but then change their decision at a later date. Hygiene issues or yeast infections are a common reason for this, but phimosis (the inability to retract the foreskin for cleaning) can also be a deciding factor.
At Modality Circumcision Service, we have the training, skills and experience to safely carry out circumcision procedures on babies and children of all ages, as well as adults, so there is never a time that it is too late for circumcision. Parents have a right to do what they feel is best for their baby, and we are experienced in treating younger babies, as well as infants up to 1 year old and toddlers.
Circumcision methods for babies
For babies and toddlers, the majority are circumcised using the Plastibell technique. After a local anaesthesia is given, the penis and foreskin are gently separated and a cut is made from the top of the foreskin so that it can be pushed back and the Plastibell to be placed in position.
Once the appropriately sided Plastibell is in place over the head of the penis and covered over by the foreskin, a ligature can be tied around the foreskin to hold it against the groove in the Plastibell so that excess skin can be skilfully trimmed off. At the end of the procedure, the Plastibell handle is broken off.
This procedure takes between 10 and 15 minutes, and the Plastibell ring falls off the penis within 10 days, leaving only a small wound that heals without stitches.
In a small percentage of babies and toddlers, surgical circumcision techniques may be required. Instead of the Plastibell method, a scalpel is used to remove the foreskin, with bipolar forceps controlling any bleeding, and the cut edges of skin must be stiched with absorbable sutures. This procedure takes around 45 minutes.
Modality Circumcision Clinic
To make an appointment for your child, or if you have questions about circumcision procedures, please read more information here, or call Modality Circumcision Service on 0121 250 0386.