Circumcision is a minor surgical procedure that allows the surgeons to remove the foreskin (skin covering the tip) of the penis in males. It is very frequently carried out on newborns, for two main reasons. Some parents request this procedure as a religious ritual or family tradition; while others comply with their health care provider’s advice, for preventive health and hygiene reasons.
Adult circumcision is different from pediatric circumcision in terms of surgical accuracy, skills and expertise of the surgeon. Apart from medical or religious factors, the physical appearance or aesthetic look of penis is also considered while performing this surgery in adults.
What Is Cosmetic Circumcision?
Cosmetic circumcision refers to removal of the penile foreskin via surgical method, with special emphasis on the preservation of cosmetic appearance of the penis (especially in erect position). Most general surgeons follows the same rules or principles while performing the adult circumcision as that of pediatric circumcision, but it imperative to mention that the risk of adverse effects are higher if procedure is performed in adults and demands extreme caution and care (2).
In addition to circumcision, if a man has issues concerning the appearance of the penis, due to prior surgical scars or suture marks, the cosmetic specialist can also offer improvement in the outlook. Also if the circumcision procedure has already been done, special techniques can be applied to ensure a more aesthetic penis when erect.
Cosmetic Circumcision Vs. Traditional Circumcision
When compared to traditional circumcision practiced by most general surgeons, the cosmetic circumcision is focused on maintaining the cosmetic aspects of the penis during erection. This is achieved by injecting a drug to induce artificial erection before the procedure has to be undertaken to help the surgeon in determining precisely how much skin has to be removed (3).
Apart from obtaining adequate hygiene and safety from sexually transmitted infections, cosmetic circumcision also delivers a sense of self-assurance to the patient and boosts his morale, which translates in a healthy sex life.
Instead of clamps (which are used in pediatric procedures for the removal and closure of skin and arrest of bleeding), surgical sutures or stitches are applied in the adult or adolescent circumcision. A scalpel is generally employed for excision in adults and high quality absorbable stitches are used to close the wound, in order to achieve a good outcome (just like in facial plastic surgery procedures). These interventions ensure a perfect closure to prevent the wound from opening during REM sleep erections (that normal males often experiences during deep sleep).
What To Expect After The Cosmetic Circumcision Procedure?
The penis acquires an appearance that is cosmetically better than before. No alteration in the size of penis occurs because the foreskin does not hinder the penile lengthening during the erections. The penis smoothens out and can be easily cleaned after the procedure.
Since surgeons induces an artificial penile erection before the procedure (by injecting Prostaglandin E-1 to determine how much skin has to be excised0, the risk of cosmetic complications (such as burying of penis in the surrounding fat and skin) is also low. Surgeon also ensures that the skin is not too loose following the procedure (3).
Directions To The Patient
- Pre-operative Preparation: As the surgery is performed under the general anesthesia, special preparations are mandatory; such as anesthesia fitness and full medical history beforehand. Bleeding disorders should be ruled out. An informational care session is organized with the patient, in which the operating doctor discusses the pros and cons of the procedure and the patient is asked about his personal preferences or goals.
- Post-operative Instructions: Patients can return home the same day; however, they are advised to take adequate rest and avoid strenuous activities following the surgery. Compressive bandages are usually applied to the penis and patients are advised to wear supportive underwear. Timeline for removal of bandages vary from case to case. Normal activity can be resumed within the next 2 days and sexual activity can be resumed within a couple of weeks.
If performed in expert hands, cosmetic circumcision offers dual benefits of improved personal hygiene and better sexual intimacy.
Dr. James Elist, is a renowned surgeon and specialist in urological prosthetic reconstruction, who have years of experience and expertise in performing a variety of cosmetic urological procedures. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Elsit to discuss your options and concerns related to the procedure.
1. Tsikopoulos, G., Asimakidou, M., Smaropoulos, E., Farmakis, K., & Klokkaris, A. (2014). Circumcision–A new approach for a different cosmetic result. Hippokratia, 18(2), 116.
2. Van Haute, C., Tailly, T., Klockaerts, K., & Ringoir, Y. (2015). Sutureless circumcision using 2-Octyl cyanoacrylate results in more rapid and less painful procedures with excellent cosmetic satisfaction. Journal of pediatric urology, 11(3), 147-e1.
3. Sharma, N., Cordon, B. H., & Eid, J. F. (2016). Intracavernosal Prostaglandin Injection Prior to Circumcision Allows More Precise Removal of Foreskin. Urologia internationalis, 96(4), 386-389.