Partial Circumcision: benefits, risks, recovery, procedures and more

What is the difference between total and partial circumcision?

Circumcision is a procedure in which the foreskin is surgically removed. The foreskin covers the head (or gland) of the penis and is often removed at birth for personal or religious reasons. This is also called a complete circumcision.

In partial circumcision, only part of the foreskin is removed.

In many cases, only the upper part of the foreskin is removed, exposing the tip of the penis but leaving the lower part, or crown, of the head of the penis covered by the remaining foreskin tissue.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

A partial circumcision can be done instead of a complete circumcision for several reasons. You may simply want to keep your foreskin for personal or aesthetic reasons, or you may feel uncomfortable removing all of your foreskin, especially if you have had it all your life.

Partial circumcision may not always be an option. If your foreskin has become stuck due to the formation of scar tissue, you may have to remove the entire foreskin. This is usually a complication of phimosis, balanitis or infections that occur under the foreskin.

Phimosis treatment

Partial circumcision is sometimes done to treat phimosis in children or young men when other treatments, such as creams or steroid ointments, have not worked.

Phimosis occurs when your foreskin can not be retracted from the head of your penis. You may feel tight, as if there was a ring around the head of your penis that prevents you from pulling the foreskin back. Paraphimosis, another form of this condition, occurs when the foreskin gets stuck in the retracted position and can not cover the head of the penis.

Phimosis is normal in young children who have foreskins, but the foreskin usually becomes retractable after a few years. At age 7, 93 percent of children can retract their foreskins.

As you get older, not being able to remove the foreskin can make it difficult to urinate or clean the skin under the foreskin. This can lead to an accumulation of smegma. Smegma is a collection of dead skin cells and oils that naturally shed from the skin of the penis. The accumulation of smegma can worsen the phimosis and cause pain, irritation and infection. Phimosis can also cause balanitis or inflammation of the penis glans.

What are the risks?

Few risks are associated with partial circumcision. Usually, you will not notice any difference in the pleasure you feel when you have sex, although the sensation may be reduced slightly.

Possible complications of partial circumcision include:

  • bleeding that will not stop
  • infection around the surgery site
  • Pain or sensitivity in the penis.
  • points that do not dissolve
  • Recurrent phimosis or balanitis requiring further removal of the foreskin tissue

How is a partial circumcision done?

Your doctor may ask you to fast for approximately six hours before the procedure. You may also need to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners, for at least 24 hours.

Partial circumcision can be done under local anesthesia. This means that only the penis and the surrounding areas are numbed. The procedure can also be performed under general anesthesia, which allows you to remain asleep throughout the procedure.

When you have received anesthesia and have entered the operating room, your doctor or surgeon will ask you to lie down on an operating table. Then, your doctor:

  1. Clean the penis and place sterile drapes around it.
  2. Use a marker that marks the skin to mark an area in the foreskin that indicates the amount that will be removed. In a complete circumcision, the entire foreskin is removed at its base on the shaft of the penis.
  3. Use a scalpel and other surgical tools to cut the desired amount of foreskin from the penis. If the procedure is performed on a baby, your doctor may use a clamp or a bell-shaped tool to lift the foreskin off the head of the penis.
  4. It uses thermal cautery tools that use heat to stop any area of ​​bleeding after having removed the foreskin.
  5. Chop the skin on the back with soluble spots.

How is the recovery of this procedure?

In most cases, you can go home the same day of the procedure. Your doctor may prescribe a medication such as paracetamol (Tylenol) to control pain and discomfort.

Your penis will be covered with a dressing that will be ready to be removed after approximately 24 hours. Your penis will completely heal from the procedure in about six weeks. A baby's penis will recover after approximately 7 to 10 days.

While you are recovering, your doctor will recommend you do the following:

  • Rub Vaseline at the site of surgery to reduce irritation from rubbing the penis against underwear or clothing.
  • Wash the penis several times a day with warm water once the bandage has been removed.
  • Do not lift anything that weighs more than 10 pounds for at least a week.
  • Do not have sex for at least four weeks after the procedure.
  • Wait for the points to dissolve or fall. This takes around two to three weeks.
  • Do not worry about the way your penis looks at the beginning. It may take approximately six weeks for you to recover completely.

Consult your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain that does not decrease with pain medications.
  • excessive bleeding from the surgery site
  • Abnormal discharge and bad smell of the surgery site.
  • swelling that will not go down
  • difficulty urinating or not being able to urinate at all


Partial circumcision is a safe and quick procedure that can be performed to treat various uncomfortable conditions that affect the penis. It is also a relatively safe way to change the appearance of your penis if you are not satisfied with the way your penis looks.

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