What Part Of The Penis Is Removed During Circumcision?

Deciding to have your child circumcised is a very difficult one and no doubt very concerning to new parents. It’s extremely important to raise any concerns and questions with your obstetrician before your child is born, so that you are fully prepared for the procedure and know what to expect.

At its most basic definition, circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin from the penis. It is a natural part of a boy’s anatomy to be born with this foreskin, a folded area of the skin that covers the lower shaft of the penis and hangs over the head. The original purpose of the foreskin is to protect the head of the penis, sometimes referred to as the glans. The amount of foreskin varies in size from newborn to newborn, and can be almost nonexistent to a noticeably large overhang. The purpose of circumcision is to remove this fold of skin so that the end of the penis is exposed.

The process of removing the foreskin surgically can be done using a variety of techniques, although the choice is usually driven by the physician’s preference and/or experience. The most popular methods are the Plastibell device, the GOMCO clamp, or the Mogen clamp, although others might use the Tara-Klamp method, the Ross circumcision ring, the Yellen clamp, the Sheldon clamp, or with a scalpel alone.

Regardless of the technique employed by the physician, there is a basic procedure followed during circumcision. The doctor will first review the existing foreskin and determine the amount that will be removed during the procedure. Then, the physician will open up the foreskin (through the preputial orifice) in order to inspect the glans (or head of the penis) and confirm that everything is intact and normal. It is at this point that the surgical process can begin. Using the appropriate instrument, the inner lining of the foreskin is stripped from the glans and the chosen device (Plastibell, GOMCO clamp, etc.) is placed under the foreskin area until bleeding has ceased. The device also helps serves to protect other parts of the penis from the surgical process. Once the area is no longer bleeding, the foreskin can be completely removed. All in all, the removal of the foreskin from the penis takes approximately 15 minutes. The removed foreskin can actually be used in various healthcare initiatives, such as skin grafts, B-interferon based drugs, skin-care products, and biomedical research.

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