Circumcision is most commonly performed for cosmetic, religious or social reasons and primarily in infants.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin or extra skin that covers the head of the penis. In the United States, it is most commonly performed for cosmetic, religious or social reasons and primarily in infants. While not all physicians agree it is beneficial, arguments for performing this procedure in infants include a reduced risk of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, sexually transmitted disease and inflammation of the foreskin and/or penis.
Some conditions make circumcision necessary in adults. These conditions include infection, cancer of the foreskin, phimosis (an abnormal narrowing of the foreskin that makes it difficult or impossible to retract), or paraphimosis (an abnormal narrowing of the foreskin that prevents a retracted foreskin from sliding forward again).
For older children and adults, the procedure itself is performed under general or local anesthesia and takes approximately thirty minutes. There may be moderate discomfort and swelling after the procedure. Normally the penis will completely heal within 3-4 weeks. Circumcision should not reduce erectile ability or penile sensation.