During a circumcision, health care workers strap the child to a firm surface, clean the penis and administer a local anesthetic to the surgical area, explains WebMD. The surgeon then places a sterile circumcision clamp over the head of the penis and removes the foreskin with a scalpel or scissors.
Immediately following circumcision, rawness and slight swelling are typically present around the area of the penis where the foreskin was removed, states WebMD. After checking for bleeding, health care workers generally apply petroleum jelly to the circumcised area and wrap the penis in a gauze bandage. Children usually remain in the hospital for several hours following the procedure.
Swelling and minor bleeding are normal during the first few days following circumcision, according to WebMD. Parents should gently apply a clean cloth or bandage to the wound with direct pressure for several minutes if bleeding occurs. Children experience pain for some time following circumcision and are frequently irritable and have trouble sleeping. Gently washing the penis with warm water and applying petroleum jelly to the circumcision area after each diaper change help keep the child more comfortable.
Parents should talk with doctors about giving the child acetaminophen to reduce pain and call the doctor immediately if pain seems severe. The child's penis should appear to be healing within about a week after surgery, says WebMD.