General safeguards for newborn circumcisions
- Safe circumcision should be done with sterile equipment.
- Before safe circumcision, infants with bleeding disorders, immune deficiencies, and severe skin disorders or infections should receive appropriate treatment and consideration.
- The infant should be monitored by health care providers at all times during the procedure.
Who should perform newborn circumcision?
As the parent, you have a choice in who performs procedures on your baby. Keep a few important points in mind when you’re choosing a practitioner to safely and correctly circumcise your baby.
- Select a provider who feels comfortable performing circumcision.
- Make sure the provider is experienced and has done many circumcisions.
- Be assured that the provider will refer you elsewhere if your child’s penis is different, unusual, small, etc. (See Correct).
- Request a provider who understands and safely performs pain relief using local anesthesia (both topical and injection).
- Insist that an in-training provider is supervised directly by an experienced provider.
A care provider who offers to perform a safe circumcision on your newborn should be well trained in the procedure. Different providers, including OB/GYN physicians, pediatricians, family practitioners, urologists, surgeons, and advanced care providers (nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants) perform circumcisions. Some religious leaders also perform circumcisions; this is most common in the Jewish religion.
How experienced is my provider?
The training and experience of these different providers vary widely. For this reason, you should make it a point to ask about their experience, number of procedures, confidence, and outcomes for their past patients. If the practitioner is hesitant to perform the procedure or does not provide satisfactory experiences and outcomes, then you should defer the procedure until later, even if your child does not have the procedure done within the first few days of life at the hospital or birthing center.
Many practitioners with considerable circumcision experience will perform the procedure in their office after hospital/birthing center discharge, possibly up to 3 months of age. Since this is most commonly an elective procedure, your goal is to have it done correctly once, instead of merely conveniently or rushed immediately after birth.