Male circumcision: time to re - examine the evidence
Stefan A Bailis and Daniel T Halperin argue that the benefits of circumcision exceed the risks
- By: Stefan A Bailis, Daniel T Halperin
Male circumcision, probably the oldest surgery known, continues to be relevant, with ever increasing evidence of its benefits published regularly in leading, peer reviewed journals. Preventive circumcision in newborn baby boys has been generally shunned in the British isles since the 1949 publication of Fate of the Foreskin by the late British doctor Douglas Gairdner,1 who concluded from his review of the limited evidence at the time that there was no convincing reason for neonatal circumcision and therefore advocated a conservative approach. Medical students (among other professionals) and future parents should be aware of all the benefits and risks of circumcision—especially in the period up to about 3 months of age, which is simpler, safer, less painful, faster healing, and cheaper than at a later time.
Uncircumcised boys and men—especially infants—are at greater risk for urinary tract infections. These occur in about 2% of uncircumcised infant boys, who have 12