Maintaining cleanliness and caring for the circumcision is important during the first few weeks. If the Vaseline wrapping doesn’t come off on its own, it should be removed after 24 hours. The penis will look red and develop a yellowish-gray film on the surface. You may see some blood staining on the diaper for a day or two. Keep the penis dry for about one week. Sponge bathing is recommended.
Remember to make sure, as it heals, that the whole head of the penis can be seen. You may need to push the skin back off the head of the penis. This may help with the healing process and avoids skin adhesions to the head of the penis from developing. This is important in order to obtain the nicest cosmetic result.
Your urologist will apply a gauze with vaseline at the time of circumcision. It may fall off into the diaper, sometimes within a few hours, sometimes overnight. If it is still in place the morning after the circumcision, gently remove it. Soaking it with water or applying more vaseline makes it come off more easily. Once the gauze has fallen off or been removed, apply a thin layer of vaseline to the penis at each diaper change for one week. No other bandage is needed after the initial dressing comes off.
The edges of the incision may be swollen, and there may be a yellow scab around the edge, or on the head of the penis. This is part of the normal healing process, and it does not need to be removed.
A small amount of bleeding is not unusual. If there is a lot of bleeding (spurting, or soaking diapers), squeeze the head of the penis between thumb and forefinger (over a gauze) for at least 3 minutes. Treat it like you would a cut on your finger. Don’t remove the dressing to peek during this time. If severe bleeding continues, call our office.
In some babies, especially if they are chubby, the penis may retract below the level of the surrounding skin. If this happens, gently push the skin down on either side of the penis with your thumbs, with each diaper change. It’s very important that the head of the penis remain visible for proper healing.
If the skin is sticking to the head of the penis, gently push it down using a moist Q-tip.
Most healing is complete in about a week. However, healing may take several weeks, and the penis may be swollen or discolored during this time.
Diapering and gentle cleaning with warm water can be done as usual, but avoid powder or other irritants for the first week. You can bathe the baby four days after the circumcision, or as suggested by your pediatrician based on the umbilical cord, whichever is later.
Please be sure to schedule a follow up check within a week after circumcision to make sure there is no need to push down skin, etc. If possible, we prefer to see them around 6 weeks after the procedure to check the final result.