Post-Circumcision Care


Before your child can be discharged from the hospital, he must be able to drink liquids and keep them down without vomiting. Once he is doing this, he may have a light diet for the remainder of the evening, such as toast, soup, crackers, jello, etc. He may have his usual diet the day after surgery. If your child vomits, go back to liquids and advance to solid food slowly.


Local anesthesia will help to take care of the pain for up to six hours. You may be given a prescription for pain medication by your physician. You may also use ibuprofen (Motrin) every 6 to 8 hours for 3 to 4 days and acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 4 to 6 hours as needed for 3 to 4 days after surgery.

If you plan to use each medication every six hours, start the Tylenol three hours after the first dose of Motrin, then alternate medications every three hours (so that each is given every six hours).

Remember that the prescription pain medication contains acetaminophen, so it is important to use the prescription or the Tylenol, but not both together. It is ok to use prescription medication in combination with Motrin.

Incision care

You do not need to worry about the removal of any stitches. They will dissolve on their own within about two months after surgery. You may notice some redness along the incision at that time.

It is normal for the penis to appear swollen and black and blue after surgery. This will get better after the first few days. Then, a whitish coating or 'yellowish slime' may appear on the head of the penis. This is part of the normal healing process and will soon go away.

It is common to have a small amount of blood-tinged drainage from the circumcision site. If your son is an infant, you may notice this on his diaper.

Beginning on the third day after surgery, your son may soak 5 to 10 minutes twice a day in a tub of clear warm water, without soap or bubble bath. Do this for one week. This will prevent crusting at the tip of the penis and help keep the incision clean.

Place a quarter-sized amount of ointment, Aquaphor, petroleum jelly, A&D, or antibiotic (bacitracin, Neosporin, or generic), on the penis or in the diaper to keep the raw surface from sticking to the underpants or diaper. It is important to use this for 5 to 7 days.

Older boys who are toilet trained may notice that the urinary stream is 'split' due to the swelling and the stitches. His stream will soon return to normal.


To prevent damage to the area of surgery, your son should avoid any activity that requires straddling. This means that he should not ride a tricycle or bicycle, rocking horse, or 'scoot' toy for three weeks after surgery.

Call our office if you notice

  • Bleeding or oozing that won't stop
  • Increased swelling and/or redness around the incisions
  • Drainage from the incision that smells bad
  • Temperature over 100.5
  • Pain not controlled by acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Motrin), or the prescription pain medication
  • Your son is unable to urinate

If you have questions or problems, contact us from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

After 5:00 pm, please call the main Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center switchboard and ask to speak to the Urology Resident on call.

Page reviewed on: Apr 29, 2009

Page reviewed by: Leslie T. McQuiston, MD