A Tight Foreskin (Phimosis)
Phimosis is the medical term for a foreskin that is too tight and cannot be rolled back over the head of penis.
This can be because the foreskin fails to loosen during childhood or adolescence, but is more often due to infection or physical damage.
A Foreskin Unable to Retract (Paraphimosis)
Paraphimosis occurs when the foreskin is drawn back from the head of the penis and becomes trapped. This can happen if the foreskin is pushed back for a prolonged period of time, perhaps during a medical procedure.
In most cases, paraphimosis can be treated using medication to reduce the swelling, or minimally invasive surgery to return the foreskin to its original position, so circumcision as a treatment for this condition is rarely necessary.
On rare occasions, repeated episodes of paraphimosis may lead to a recommendation of circumcision.
Caused by a bacterial infection, acute balanoposthitis is a painful and unpleasant condition where the foreskin becomes red and swollen, and exudes pus. This is usually controlled with antibiotics and most men don’t have further infections. Circumcision is usually only resorted to for unusually persistent cases.
How Circumcision is performed
For a baby boy, a local anaesthetic injected into the base of the penis or applied as a cream is safer than a general anaesthetic. Older children and adults are usually given a general anaesthetic.
The foreskin is removed with a scalpel, scissors or a surgical clamp. Any bleeding is cauterised and remaining edges of skin are stitched together with dissolvable sutures.
The operation is simple and patients usually go home the same or next day.
After circumcision, there can be pain and swelling, and increased sensitivity until the penis heals. This can take from 7 to 10 days in babies, and 4 to 6 weeks in older boys and men.
What can we do for you?
Waiting lists for circumcising adults on the NHS in some areas of the UK are typically very long and are restricted to those with a medical need. For these reasons many men opt for private treatment, whether they have medical insurance or are paying for treatment themselves.
At Somerset Urology you will be seen quickly by one of our consultants, and given safe, exceptional care in our excellent, modern facilities.