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A circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin (the tissue that covers the tip of the penis when flaccid). Most circumcisions are performed on newborns as decided by the parents for either religious, social or health-conscious reasons. Uncircumcised adults may decide on a circumcision later in life for the same reasons. Circumcision rates in the United States are estimated to be as high as 71 percent

Circumcisions are associated with several health benefits, which may contribute to their popularity. For one, the CDC reports that circumcised individuals have a lower risk of contracting HIV, herpes and HPV. Individuals with circumcised penises are also at a lower risk for developing urinary tract infections. 

The foreskin is prone to inflammation, rash and infection. Circumcision prevents these conditions and allows for more comfortability. 

What to expect:

Both newborn and adult circumcisions are relatively simple procedures. For adults, the surgery may take between 30 minutes and an hour under general anesthesia. The physician will manually move the foreskin from the head of the penis and use a scalpel to cut the excess skin. The skin is then cauterized and stitched back to the shaft with dissolvable stitches. The penis is then wrapped in a protective dressing that may need to be changed during recovery.

Risk of complications during surgery are fairly rare, so most patients can go home following surgery. There will likely be swelling and bruising around the penis during the first few days. Complete recovery time for adults takes two-three weeks, which means they may miss some work or school.

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