CIRCUMCISION: A Guide for Parents

To Schedule an Appointment

It is important that you schedule your infant’s appointment immediately by calling

Maryland Surgery Center for Women at (301) 770-8700.

Our office holds convenient times during the week at the center.

Please choose one of those times that best fits your busy schedule.

You will need the following information when you call to schedule:

  • OBGYN Name
  • Baby’s name/ date of birth
  • Insurance information including the information of the responsible party

Important preoperative information is found on at the end of this article.

Maryland Surgery Center for Women

Maryland Surgery Center for Women has specialized in the safe, cost effective and compassionate care of women for Obstetric and Gynecologic surgical needs since 2002.

The Center also provides the same level of care to your baby for his circumcision. Your obstetrician has chosen the Surgical Center for your baby’s circumcision for the following reasons:

  • high quality care
  • a sterile and controlled environment
  • an exceptional surgical team dedicated to the care of your infant
  • a calm and soothing atmosphere in contrast to the busy hospital setting

It is important to know that it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that all circumcisions be delayed until your newborn is more than 24 hours old and documented to be in a stable condition by a pediatrician.

Circumcision is a surgical procedure that removes the foreskin—a sleeve of skin covering the head of the penis. Parents have the legal right to authorize circumcision. In order to make an informed decision, they should carefully consider the benefits and risks.

© The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth

Benefits of Circumcision

  • The timing of your baby’s circumcision may be important. Research suggests a benefit in delaying a neonatal circumcision until breast feeding is well established, typically between four and eight days of life. Early circumcision, within the first 24-48 hours, may contribute to difficulties with latching and maternal-infant bonding.
  • Eliminates the risk of phimosis, which affects 1 in 10 older boys and men. This condition refers to a tight foreskin that cannot be pulled back fully, making cleaning under it, and passing urine, difficult.
  • Reduces by 3-fold the risk of inflammation and infection of the skin of the penis. One in 10 uncircumcised men get inflammation of the head of the penis and foreskin. This rises to 1 in 3 if the uncircumcised man is diabetic. Diabetic men also have other severe problems.) In contrast only 1 in 50 circumcised men get this condition.
  • Over 10-fold decrease in risk of urinary tract infections in infants. 1 in 50 uncircumcised male infants will get a urinary tract infection, while only 1 in 500 circumcised males will. This very painful condition is particularly dangerous in infancy, and in 40% of cases can lead to kidney inflammation and disease; blood poisoning and meningitis can also result.
  • Later in life, a circumcised male will have a 20-fold decreased risk of invasive penile cancer and nearly half the risk of prostate cancer.
  • There is some evidence in the medical literature that circumcision can reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections such as HPV, HIV and Herpes. Circumcision may also lower the risk that a male would transmit these or other infections to a partner.
  • Approximately 10% of uncircumcised men will have to undergo circumcision later in life for medical reasons.

Risks of Circumcision

  • 1 in 500 may have some bleeding, usually controlled with gentle pressure and rarely requiring stitches (1 in 1000)
  • 1 in 1000 risk of requiring repeat surgery
  • 1 in 4000 risk of serious infection requiring antibiotics
  • 1 in 5000 risk of any serious complication requiring hospitalization
  • If circumcision is delayed beyond the first 4 months, total cost and risks become increasingly greater
  • If a bleeding disorder such as hemophilia runs in the family, then the doctor needs to be advised as circumcision may require special preoperative treatment.
  • Circumcisions of older children, teenagers and men requires the use of stitches.

Pre-Op Information & Instructions

Please be sure to bring the following items:

  • Insurance Card & Identification of Responsible Party
  • History and Physical provided by Pediatrician
  • Method of payment if self pay
  • Clean diapers and wipes
  • Pacifier
  • Blanket for swaddling
  • Bottles and formula for bottle fed infants
  • Privacy aides (i.e. blanket) for breast feeding

While the procedure takes 5-15 minutes there is a required post procedure waiting time. The infant will have his legs gently placed in soft restraints. This is painless and he will be given a pacifier with a small amount of sugar water.

Maryland Surgical Center for Women provides a comfortable area where you may relax with your infant. Recliners are available for rocking, nursing, etc. and a separate waiting area for guests is provided. Please limit to 2 guests per infant.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call the Center at (301) 770-8700.

Important things to know

  • Your baby cannot eat for one hour prior to his procedure.
  • He will be able to eat immediately after.
  • It is recommended to purchase petroleum jelly (Vaseline) prior to your appointment. It is easiest to apply from tube packaging.


A local anesthetic is frequently used.

General anesthetic carries risks and is unnecessary

Additional information about Circumcision (PDF)

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