Is circumcision necessary for someone with phimosis?

Diana K. Blythe, MD

Circumcision is not necessary for everyone with phimosis. When boys are younger, there is often a condition called physiologic phimosis. This occurs when there is a narrowed opening to the foreskin which is not causing any problems. Sometimes this does not resolve until closer to puberty.

Unless there are recurrent urinary tract infections, chronic inflammation or conditions such as balanitis, circumcision is not needed for medical reasons.

Circumcision is the only certain cure for phimosis, but it's not usually necessary to get rid of the condition. There are several options less risky than removing the foreskin. These range from steroid creams and foreskin stretching to plastic surgery that loosens the foreskin. If these alternatives don't work, and if the person's phimosis causes recurring side effects like pain, inflammation, and urinary tract infections, circumcision might be the only remaining option.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.