Circumcision is a surgical procedure to remove the skin covering the end of the penis, called the foreskin. Whether or not you have your child circumcised is a deeply personal choice. For parents who decide to opt for circumcision, the Newborn Circumcision Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital offers a specialized approach to this procedure.
What is the Newborn Circumcision Clinic?
The Newborn Circumcision Clinic is based within the Boston Children’s Department of Urology and is staffed by specially trained urology advanced practice clinicians. These advanced practice clinicians are supported by our pediatric urologists and are skilled in performing circumcision on newborns.
Who is eligible for the Newborn Circumcision Clinic?
We perform circumcision on newborn boys who are younger than 8 weeks old and who weigh less than 12 pounds, or 5.4 kilograms. Your baby must be healthy and have documentation of receiving vitamin K at birth.
Why do we offer newborn circumcision?
Although circumcision is a common and safe procedure that typically only requires a local anesthetic, it is still a surgical technique. The most common complication of circumcision is that not enough of the foreskin is removed, which can lead to adhesions, irritation, and infection. For this reason, as well as for aesthetic purposes, your baby may require a surgical revision, or recircumcision. However, this is a very rare complication in our clinic.
What happens during newborn circumcision?
Once you have made an appointment and provided your baby’s medical records, one of our nurses will call you to explain how to prepare for the procedure, including how and when to feed your son before the appointment, when to arrive, and which supplies to have on hand at home.
Most newborns are held still or placed into a circumcision brace. The baby is comforted and will receive a local anesthetic (numbing medication) to reduce discomfort. The skin covering the tip of the penis is removed with a protective device, and then petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment is applied.
After the procedure, we will ask you to stay in the clinic for an hour for monitoring and additional education. You and your baby will need to follow up on an as-needed basis only.
How do I make an appointment?
Please call us at 617-355-7796. A nurse will contact you to perform a screening and request newborn records and documentation of a pediatrician visit and vitamin K. If there is a question of anatomical issues, your son will be seen by one of our pediatric urologists for evaluation.