Preparing for surgery : A guide to Circumcision

There are a few things which you need to do before undergoing circumcision; or if you are the parent of a son who is about to be circumcised.

These include:

  • Avoiding eating or drinking at least 6 hours before surgery. But you may find that you are allowed a few sips of water beforehand. This applies to patients who are having a general anaesthetic.
  • Clean and shave the pubic area (adult men). Adult men should bring a pair of tight fitting briefs to wear afterwards which will keep the surgical dressing in place. Continue to wear these at home until the swelling and soreness has eased.

    Babies should wear a loose fitting nappy. If your son is beyond that stage then he should wear loose fitting clothes so that they don’t rub against the treated area.

  • If you are having a local anaesthetic, eat and drink as per normal. Keep your fluids going as this will ensure that you are well hydrated.
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after the operation. This is more important if you are having a general anaesthetic but less so with local anaesthesia. However it is a good idea to check with your car insurance firm that you are still covered by your insurance if you drive home after having local anaesthetic.
  • If you smoke then stop as this interferes with the healing of the wound. Smoking can slow this down and your recovery in general so stop smoking before your surgery.
  • Have your last alcoholic drink at least 48 hours before surgery. Alcohol may reduce the effectiveness of the anaesthetic as well as dehydrating you.
  • Arrange time off school/work.

    If you are a parent then arrange a week off school for your son.

    Adults do not need to take time off unless absolutely necessary; but you may experience some pain and discomfort the first few days after surgery which can be a distraction. So, it may be a good idea to book a few days off especially if you have a manual job which involves heavy lifting.

    If you are embarrassed about telling your employer that you are about to undergo circumcision then mention that you are having minor surgery. You can always ask your GP for a sick note which states this clearly without mentioning circumcision.

The next section looks at what happens on the day of surgery.


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