Circumcision is the surgical removal of the skin that covers the head (or glans) of the penis. This skin is called the foreskin or the prepuce. Circumcision has been performed for thousands of years, dating back to Ancient Egypt and Israel. During the procedure, the penis is numbed and a special clamp is placed around the tissue which is then removed. Circumcision is most commonly performed within a day or two of birth. Circumcision of newborns was once commonplace in the U.S., but rates are declining and today, about 60 percent of newborn males are circumcised.
The foreskin provides some protection to the head of the penis, or glans, keeping it free from contamination. Some people feel an uncircumcised penis is more sensitive during intercourse, but other studies have found this not to be true. Circumcision is a personal decision but it can offer significant benefits to a child as he grows. As an experienced and skilled Ob-Gyn, Dr. Jonathan Tam performs circumcisions on newborn boys using the safest and most advanced methods for optimal outcomes in patients throughout Pasadena, California.
No, circumcision is a personal choice. For some people, including those of Jewish and Muslim faith, circumcision is required by religious laws.
Circumcision does have some significant benefits. Removing the foreskin helps reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and it also makes the penis much easier to clean, lowering the chance the penis will become inflamed or infected. Poor cleanliness can also result in odor and a buildup of a white, cheesy substance called smegma. In some males, the foreskin can become stiff, making it difficult to retract and causing pain during erection. Circumcision also helps lower the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) later in life and it lowers the risk of penile cancer. And finally, circumcision can play an important role in helping boys “fit in” when changing for sports or gym class, and many men and women find circumcision makes the penis more attractive.
Circumcision does carry a very small risk of infection related to surgery or damage to the penis itself, including scarring. Some insurance companies may not cover the costs, resulting in out-of-pocket expenses for the family.
Sometimes these can be an HMO, please call our office to verify: Medi-Cal and Medicare. For the following, we accept PPO and HMO (medical group needs to be Allied Pacific or Healthcare Partners): Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, HealthNet and United Healthcare.
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