What are the risks of circumcision?

Jennifer S. Singer, MD
There are risks with any procedure, and circumcision is no exception. The most common risks are bleeding and infection. Next most common is meatal stenosis -- a narrowing of the urinary opening, likely from scar tissue developing over time. This can occur in up to 7% of circumcised boys.

Other risks of circumcision, while rare, include: potential reactions to anesthesia, injuries to the penis, foreskin adhering to the glans penis (this can be avoided by proper care post-surgery) and unsatisfactory cosmetic outcomes.
As with any surgical procedure, there are possible risks. With circumcision, the risks are typically small (ranging between 0.2 percent and 0.6 percent) but can include:
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Injury to the penis or urethra
  • Removal of excess foreskin

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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.