Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Circumcision is one the most frequently performed operations in males worldwide and is an integral part of several religions, including Judaism and lslam. Circumcision rates in the UK have reduced over the last few decades from 24% of males in the 1950s to an estimated 6% today. This reduction is largely as a result of better understanding of the physiology of the normal foreskin as well as rationalization of health care provision. The normal foreskin is non-retractable at birth and gradually separates spontaneously such that 90% of foreskins are retractable by three years of age. Medical indications for circumcision are few. Circumcision is contraindicated in a number of congenital penile disorders, including hypospadias, epispadias, chordee, buried penis, and micropenis. Various techniques are available for performing circumcision, including non-surgical techniques for use in neonates using devices such as the PlastibellTM, as well as surgical circumcision. Complications of circumcision include haemorrhage, infection, meatal stenosis, removal of incorrect amount of foreskin, penile injury, urethral injury, and painful scarring. However, many of these complications can be prevented using precise surgical techniques, including avoidance of monopolar diathermy and meticulous haemostasis. © 2008.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





314 - 316