This page gives you information about ‘circumcision’, which is an operation to correct a problem with your child’s foreskin, such as the foreskin being tight or scarred. Other procedures that can correct problems with your child’s foreskin include ‘preputioplasty’, ‘frenuloplasty’ and dealing with simple adhesions. This will have been discussed with you during your child’s outpatient’s appointment.

About circumcision

Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin exposing the head of the penis permanently.

Preputioplasty is a cut through the tight part of the foreskin allowing it to be pulled back fully, but leaving the foreskin otherwise intact.

Frenuloplasty is a minor procedure to divide the tight strand of skin, which can sometimes stop the foreskin from being pulled back.

Adhesions are between the foreskin and head of the penis and sometimes need to be dealt with under a general anaesthetic.

The operation

Your child will have a general anaesthetic, which means they will be asleep during the operation. Local anaesthetic will also be used so your child will feel more comfortable after the operation.

A circumcision is carried out by carefully cutting away the foreskin just below the head of the penis. The wound is closed with dissolving stitches or a form of tissue ‘superglue’.

After the operation

Your child will stay in the theatre recovery area for a period of time. Staff will let you know when you can join him there. When he has recovered from the anaesthetic he will be able to drink and eat. When any pain or discomfort is under control he will be allowed home.

After discharge

If, by the next morning, your child has been unable to pass urine since returning home, you must call us for advice and possible review. The number for the Paediatric Day Unit is at the end of this page.

Your child may have some bruising and swelling of the head of the penis. This should settle within a few days.

Sometimes an infection can develop. This may need treatment with antibiotics. Simple pain relief such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used until the discomfort has settled. The head of the penis and the area around it can be extremely sensitive and this can be distressing for the first few days.

Your child should wear whatever clothing is most comfortable during this part of their recovery. Your child should only have showers during the first 2 to 3 days after the operation, not baths. After this time (you will be advised how long) showers and baths can be taken.

You will be advised about your child’s return to school and physical activity before they are discharged from hospital.

A nurse will contact you the day after discharge. This is to check that there are no problems. If you have any concerns you should contact either the children’s ward or your GP’s surgery for advice.

A hospital follow up appointment may be needed. This will be arranged if necessary.

Contact information

Paediatric Day Unit

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Tel: 0300 422 8452

Tel: 0300 422 8453

Monday to Friday, 7:00am to 7:30pm

Paediatric Assessment Unit

Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Tel 0300 422 8305

Tel 0300 422 8194

Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Further information

For further information, please visit our website:


Printable version of this page

Operations on the foreskin GHPI0985_07_21 Department: Paediatrics Review due: July 2024 PDF, 495.8 KB, 3 pages
Reference number GHPI0985_07_21
Department Paediatrics
Review due July 2024