What Is Laser Circumcision?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Excess foreskin is removed from the penis with a surgical laser during a laser circumcision.
Excess foreskin is removed from the penis with a surgical laser during a laser circumcision.

Laser circumcision is a surgery where a doctor removes excess foreskin from the penis with a surgical laser. The use of a laser in surgery confers a number of advantages, including reduced bleeding, neater wound sites, and faster healing. If this technique is an option for a patient's circumcision, the doctor may recommend it. Patients can also ask about facilities that offer laser circumcision if they would prefer this method.

Laser circumcision may be performed after the birth of infant boys for social reasons.
Laser circumcision may be performed after the birth of infant boys for social reasons.

Circumcision can be performed for a number of reasons. This procedure is practiced by several religions and in some nations it is standard practice in hospital settings after the birth of infant boys for social reasons. Adults may undergo circumcision if they develop certain medical conditions that cause problems with the foreskin, like phimosis, where the foreskin becomes too tight and cuts off circulation.

Doctors may use forceps during laser circumcision.
Doctors may use forceps during laser circumcision.

In a laser circumcision, the doctor will apply a local anesthetic to numb the tissue, wait for it to take effect, and use forceps to grip the foreskin and hold it firmly in place. She stretches it over the head of the penis and guides a small surgical laser along it to create a clean cut. Lasers cauterize as they cut, and the patient should experience minimal bleeding. After the surgery, a few dissolvable stitches are necessary to hold the tissue in place while it heals.

Adult males may undergo circumcision as a result of developing certain medical conditions that cause problems with the foreskin.
Adult males may undergo circumcision as a result of developing certain medical conditions that cause problems with the foreskin.

General anesthesia is also available for circumcision, although it is not usually recommended because it carries considerable risks. If the patient already needs it for a different procedure, the doctor may offer to arrange for the circumcision at the same time, as for example, if a urologist is already performing surgery in the genital area.

After laser circumcision, the patient will notice some pain, redness, and soreness. The doctor may prescribe some mild pain management to keep the patient comfortable, and it is also advisable to take anti-inflammatory medications to limit swelling. Icing the groin can help if the patient experiences substantial swelling. The doctor usually does not need to see the incision again, but she may recommend it if there are concerns about complications. If the patient reports changes in skin color or a strange discharge, for example, this may be evidence of an infection.

When a doctor recommends circumcision, patients may want to discuss the risks and benefits of laser circumcision as well as other options. If it is performed for religious reasons, the patient and/or parents of the patient may want to meet with a religious officiant to determine whether laser circumcision is religiously appropriate. Most religions approve of the use of advanced medical techniques for this procedure, but it may be reassuring to get an official religious endorsement.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a TheHealthBoard researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a TheHealthBoard researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

anon1003624

It is incorrect to describe circumcision as removing excess foreskin from the penis. The loose skin which forms the foreskin on a non erect penis is actually a fold of shaft skin which unfolds and stretches out when the penis becomes erect. It is only loose and forward when the penis is soft and is important and not a useless excessive bit of skin. It also contains 1/3 of the total number of sensory nerve receptors contained in the whole penis.

anon990191

Cutting up a defenseless infant's penis for non-therapeutic reasons should be made a crime. The fact that we still do this disgusting thing to defenseless babies in 2015 (this is not 1915), is absolutely mind boggling.

Theborgrote

Ouch! I suppose that in western culture most circumcisions are done on infants, but there may be medical reasons to have this procedure done later in life. I think the laser option would be vastly preferable to the use of a scalpel - as the article points out, it's less painful and generally heals more quickly. in this case, modern technology offers a considerable improvement over past methods, but I'm still not sold on laser eye surgery - not yet anyway.

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    • Excess foreskin is removed from the penis with a surgical laser during a laser circumcision.
      By: hacohob
      Excess foreskin is removed from the penis with a surgical laser during a laser circumcision.
    • Laser circumcision may be performed after the birth of infant boys for social reasons.
      By: BlueSkyImages
      Laser circumcision may be performed after the birth of infant boys for social reasons.
    • Doctors may use forceps during laser circumcision.
      By: Alena Kovalenko
      Doctors may use forceps during laser circumcision.
    • Adult males may undergo circumcision as a result of developing certain medical conditions that cause problems with the foreskin.
      By: Tyler Olson
      Adult males may undergo circumcision as a result of developing certain medical conditions that cause problems with the foreskin.