My son is scheduled to undergo circumcision, or tuli, this month. Even though it isn’t strictly absolutely medically necessary, tuli is a rite of passage for boys around here. At first he was hesitant because obviously it would be quite painful, and we chose not to pressure him to have the procedure. Now, though, he seems to be ready and we’re hoping everything will go smoothly.
I have actually performed circumcisions myself but I’ve never personally taken care of the patient afterwards. (I don’t have a brother and all I remember from when my boy cousins underwent circumcision was that they went around wearing tent-sized shirts for weeks afterwards.) So to prepare for my son’s tuli, I spent some time brushing up on circumcision aftercare. And as always, whenever I learn something useful, I always feel it would be a shame if I don’t share that knowledge with everyone else who might find it useful.
So to fellow moms out there — here’s everything you need to know about coping and caring for your son after he undergoes circumcision.
It usually takes 10 days for the circumcision area to heal. The stitches will usually dissolve on their own after 1-3 weeks.
It’s normal for the tip of the penis to be swollen, bruised, and painful at first. There may also be some whitish or yellowish oozing or crusting after a few days — that’s a normal part of the healing process.
For pain, use the pain medication your doctor prescribed. It will usually be paracetamol/acetaminophen or ibuprofen. The pain is expected to lessen after 3 days.
While in the process of healing, it’s normal for the child to seem fussy. He may not be able to sleep well right after. His bowel habits might be irregular in the days right after surgery. And when peeing, sometimes the urinary stream will appear split in two because of the stitches and the swelling. This will gradually go back to normal.
Keep the area clean. Use warm water.
If the penis was covered in gauze after the procedure, the gauze will normally fall off on its own after a few days. If it does, you don’t need to replace it.
If it doesn’t fall off on its own, follow your doctor’s directions about when and how to remove it. Generally, when removing the gauze, it will help if you first soak it in warm water — like by sitting in the bath for 10 minutes — and then gently loosen it.
When bathing, don’t scrub the incision site. Just let warm soapy water run over it and then pat dry.
Once the bandage is off, just leave the circumcision site open to air.
Apply antibacterial ointment or petroleum jelly around the sutures 4-6 times each day to prevent the edges of the incision from sticking to clothes. You will need to continue doing this for approximately 7 days.
If some bleeding occurs, you can try applying gentle pressure to the bleeding area for up to 5 minutes.
If the area continually rubs against clothing, it may help if you cover it with a little petroleum jelly and a gauze bandage. The bandage would need to be changed every day.
Avoid tight clothing.
Let your child rest for a few days.
He may return to quiet normal activities when he is ready. This may be as early as 2 or 3 days after the procedure.
There are certain activities that are best avoided for a reasonable amount of time after circumcision:
You should call your doctor or take your child to a medical facility if you notice any of these problems:
Good luck! ^_^