Most boys recover from this operation without complications. Usually no special wound care is needed from you during this recovery.
All the stitches are under the skin and will dissolve. There are none to remove. You may see bumps that look like pimples where the body is dissolving the stitches. This is normal.
Infants have a plastic bandage around the penis, sometimes covered by a white gauze and another larger plastic bandage. The dressing will fall off by itself, sometimes the same day as the operation. This is not a problem, and you will not need to cover the penis with another bandage.
When the bandage comes off, you do not need to apply any ointments. Sometimes the incision will tend to stick to the diaper, in which case you can apply a small amount of Vaseline or Aquaphor to the diaper to prevent sticking.
Infants may poop onto the bandage, with stool sometimes getting under part of the bandage. Please simply wipe it off gently and do not be concerned if you cannot remove it all — infections after surgery are rare, even when there is soilage. If the bandage stay on a few days, it may develop an odor. This is normal and will go away when the bandage
Older boys only have the plastic bandage or a stretchy brown bandage around the penis, without the gauze. If it hasn’t fallen off on its own by about a week after surgery, soaking in the bathtub or applying some Vaseline or Aquaphor will help it to fall off.
Please refer to the postoperative pictures on our website under the “Resources” tab to see examples of how the bandages and gauze normally appear. You can call our office for the password to these photos, or email us at [email protected]
We recommend you sponge bathe the first day after surgery, and then resume normal bathing 48 hours after the operation. Older boys can shower the day after surgery. Bandages that are still in place can be immersed in water and then gently patted dry.
Babies do not have activity restrictions. Toddlers and older children should not use straddle toys like jumpers or bicycles for 2 weeks after surgery. No coach-directed sports activities or swimming for 2 weeks after surgery, then you can resume like normal. Teens and adults should be on bedrest for the first 48-72 hours after surgery, then no heavy
lifting for 2 weeks.
Infants need only ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and Tylenol to control pain after surgery. We recommend you give these on an alternating schedule without waiting to see if they will have pain during the first 48 hours after surgery. You can alternate them, giving first the ibuprofen, then 3 hours later the Tylenol, then 3 hours later another dose of ibuprofen, etc.
Older boys, teens, and adults should also take ibuprofen on a regular schedule for the first 48 hours, alternating with either Hycet or Norco (a narcotic that also contains Tylenol) or plain Tylenol. We do not recommend antibiotics after this surgery.
Children sometimes have fever the first night after surgery. This is normal and not a sign of any infection.
Fever greater than 101ºF and irritability after the first night may indicate a virus or ear, throat, or lung infection. If this happens, please contact your primary care physician. Wound infections after circumcision are very uncommon and would not appear until about a week after surgery.
It is very unusual to develop a problem that requires urgent attention after this surgery. Most concerns are not urgent and you can email us at [email protected] during normal business hours to ask your question. If you believe there is an urgent issue, you can call us any time at 214-618- 4405.
We encourage you to first review postoperative photographs on our website before calling if you are worried about how the bandages or wounds look.
Please do not go to the emergency room for problems without first contacting us! Doctors in the emergency room are not surgeons and may not know what the wounds should look like after surgery. Many times an emailed picture of the area you are concerned about will help us to decide if urgent medical attention is needed.
We normally schedule follow-up with your surgeon approximately 6 weeks after the operation.