The health care provider will most often numb the penis with local anesthesia before the procedure starts. The numbing medicine may be injected at the base of the penis, in the shaft, or applied as a cream.
There are several ways to perform a circumcision. Most commonly, the foreskin is pushed from the head of the penis and clamped with a metal or plastic ring-like device.
If the ring is metal, the foreskin is cut off and the metal device is removed. The wound heals in 5-7 days.
If the ring is plastic, a piece of suture is tied tightly around the foreskin. This pushes the tissue into a groove in the plastic over the head of the penis. Within 5-7 days, the plastic covering the penis falls free, leaving a completely healed circumcision.
The baby may be given a sweetened pacifier during the procedure. Tylenol (acetaminophen) may be given afterward.
In older and adolescent boys, circumcision is most often done under general anesthesia so the boy is asleep and pain free. The foreskin is removed and stitched onto the remaining skin of the penis. Stitches that dissolve are used to close the wound. They will be absorbed by the body within 7-10 days. The wound may take up to 3 weeks to heal.