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The Male Room

with Sheldon Marks, MD

This blog has been retired.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Adult Circumcision

Circumcision is a controversial topic because there is so much misinformation and emotion included as fact. The facts are fairly straightforward. There are some definite biological advantages to circumcision. For example, circumcised men don’t develop penile cancer- a rare though deadly (and emotionally difficult) cancer. Circumcised men develop fewer sexually transmitted diseases if promiscuous (the skin is thicker and more resiliant to trauma)

Some men who complain of problems retracting their foreskin are candidates for one of three options. This problem, called phimosis, develops as a result of injury the the circular fibers within the foreskin- usually as a result of a traumatic retraction- often at birth or early in life. This trauma heals with scarring that over time may gradually scar down to total inability to retact the foreskin.

There are 3 main options.

First, is to do nothing. It may not get worse, it may get better or stay the same. Try to avoid forcibly retracting the foreskin as this will make it worse.

The second choice is what is called a “dorsal slit” this opens up the foreskin by simply cutting, under local or general anesthesia, a one or two inch longitudinal cut at the top through the foreskin, across and past the scar. This then allows you to retract the foreskin yet maintains the look and presence.

The third option is formal circumcision. Despite the emotion and hysteria, recent studies have analyzed the sensory input from the glans penis (the end) looking at whether or not circumcised men have more, less or same sensation. The answer is that they feel the exact same thing.

Another way to look at this is by asking men who had adult circumcision about their own personal before and after experience. I know a number of other urologists and surgeons who went though this as an adult. A few liked it before, a few liked it after, most said no difference.

Related Topics: Should Your Son Be Circumcised?, Adult Circumcision Affects Sexual Performance

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Posted by: Sheldon Marks, MD at 8:20 am

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