Department of Urology | Why Choose Us? | Infant Circumcision

Circumcision is a surgical procedure to remove the skin covering the end of the penis, called the foreskin. Whether or not you have your child circumcised is a deeply personal choice. For parents who decide to opt for circumcision, the Infant Circumcision Clinic at Boston Children's Hospital offers a specialized approach to this procedure.

What is the Infant Circumcision Clinic?

The Infant Circumcision Clinic is based within Boston Children’s Urology Department and is staffed by specially trained urology nurse practitioners. These nurse practitioners are supported by our pediatric urologist and are skilled in performing circumcision on newborns and infants.

Who is eligible for the Infant Circumcision Clinic?

We perform circumcision on boys who are younger than 8 weeks old and who weigh less than 12 pounds, or 5.4 kilograms. Your baby must be healthy and have documentation of receiving vitamin K at birth.

Why do we offer infant circumcision?

Although circumcision is a common and safe procedure that typically only requires a local anesthetic, it is still a surgical technique. The most common complication of circumcision is that not enough of the foreskin is removed, which can lead to adhesions, irritation and infection. For this reason, as well as for aesthetic purposes, your baby may require a surgical revision, or re-circumcision.

At Boston Children’s, we perform more than 300 re-circumcision procedures a year, many of which we strongly believe could be prevented by having the initial circumcision performed by experienced nurse practitioner that is trained in this procedure..

What happens during a circumcision?

Once you have made an appointment and provided your baby’s medical records, one of our nurses will call you to explain how to prepare for the procedure, including how and when to feed your son before the appointment, when to arrive and which supplies to have on hand at home.

Most babies are held still or placed into a circumcision brace. The baby is comforted and may receive a local anesthetic (numbing medication) to reduce discomfort. The skin covering the tip of the penis is removed with a protective device, and then gauze with petroleum jelly or antibiotic ointment is applied.

After the procedure, we will ask you to stay in the clinic for an hour for monitoring and additional education.

One week after the procedure, we need to make sure your baby is healing properly. You can choose to return to the clinic a week later at one of our nine locations.

We also offer telemedicine follow-up visits, which is a way to contact the nurse or doctor over a computer instead of having to come back into the clinic for a follow-up visit.

How do I make an appointment?

Please call us at 617-355-7796. A nurse will contact you to perform a screening and request records and documentation of a pediatrician visit and vitamin K. If there is a question of anatomical issues, your son will be seen by one of our pediatric urologists or nurse practitioners for evaluation.