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.
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.
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.
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.