What age is best?

In Australia, 74% of all circumcisions involve boys under 6 months of age, but broadly-speaking the younger, the better!

What is the best method?

In Australia, 75 to 80% of all circumcisions are by the Plastic Circumcision Device technique. Most of those circumcisions Australia­wide are performed using some form of anaesthesia or analgesia.

We will only perform a circumcision if it can be done with the Plastic Circumcision Device.

What are the risks?

The risks of any surgical procedure are:

  • Risk of bleeding
  • Risk of infection
  • Surgical mishap
  • Anaesthetic complications

The Plastic Circumcision Device technique has proven effective at minimising all these problems.

Some people suggest we should wait till he's older and have surgery under general anaesthesia?

(MedicineToday May 2002, Vol 3, Number 5) by Dr Terry Russell

A modified Plastic Circumcision Device procedure with prior application of EMLA anaesthetic cream has many advantages over a 'cut-and­stitch' procedure under general anaesthesia. The modified procedure:

  • Is virtually a closed procedure
  • Reduces the risk of bleeding
  • Reduces the risk of systemic infection
  • Accurately defines the level at which the circumcision occurs
  • Can be performed as an office procedure
  • Is less traumatic to parents and child than a hospital admission
  • Avoids exposure to hospital bugs
  • Avoids the costs of an anaesthetist and theatre and day-bed fees
  • Is less costly to the health system
  • Frees beds for other cases
  • Last but not least, when a general anaesthetic wears off, the pain is there. By comparison, the anaesthetic effect of EMLA cream lasts for about four hours after the procedure, and by that time, the tissue beyond the ligature is dead, so that even afterwards there shouldn't be any interval during which the boy experiences pain.

Should I be present in the room when my son is being circumclsed?

Not a good idea. Having a parent present is a distraction for the operator, and we minimise distractions so as to focus totally on "doing a good job". So, parents are not permitted in the procedure room.

Parents have a big part to play in applying and reapplying the anaesthetic cream prior to the procedure, and again immediately post -op in comforting and feeding.

What if shaft skin is still over or adherent to the head of his penis when it has healed?

Please bring him back for review. If that skin is adherent, we will separate it off.

You can bathe him when you get home, clean the newly exposed area, dry it gently and apply Betadine ointment just for another two or three days, while it's a bit raw looking to make sure it doesn't get infected. Then after that it is simply a matter of keeping it clean and dry.

See Puppy Fat

How many have you done? Any complications?

Dr Terry Russell was the first doctor in Australia to research the use of EMLA anaesthetic cream in combination with the Plastic Circumcision Device for childhood circumcisions. The results of the research were published in 1996. The Circumcision Australia group of doctors have now performed over 30,500 circumcisions for boys of all ages using topical anaethetic and the Plastic Circumcision Device.

After 30,500 plus circumcisions:

  • There has never been a significant bleed
  • There has never been a transfusion
  • There has never been a systemic infection
  • There has never been a major cosmetic problem
  • There has been one minor anaesthetic problem, which resolved spontaneously overnight
Minor bleeds (drops, not mls) affect about 0.5 % of all boys and are easily treated in house

What if I don't live in Melbourne?

We circumcise boys from all over Victoria as well as from Tasmania, NSW and other states as far as W.A. and N.T. Parents often find it less expensive to fly to Melbourne for the procedure than have it done locally with admission to hospital and a general anaesthetic.

We can usually arrange to have the procedure done on the day you arrive in Melbourne, however, fog in winter can often delay your flight which we can take no responsibility for. We do ask that you stay in Melbourne overnight after the procedure but the patient should be fit to fly 24 hours after the procedure.

We do need to have advanced notice if you are travelling a distance to see us, so we can arrange for your initial consultation, examination, anaesthesia and procedure to be attended to on the same day. We can also suggest accommodation options if required.