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At UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, we believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of this surgery and we invite you to participate. Please read the following information to learn about the surgery and how you can help.
Circumcision is a surgery to remove a boy’s foreskin, the fold of skin at the end of the penis. This surgery is done on boys who did not receive a circumcision when they were newborns. For most children, circumcision is usually not medically necessary, but there are a variety of religious, social and cultural reasons why parents may choose to circumcise their sons.
General anesthesia makes your child’s whole body go to sleep and is needed for circumcision so that his reflexes will be completely relaxed. General anesthesia makes the surgery easier and safer to do because your child will not feel any pain or have any memory of it.
Caudal anesthesia is given with general anesthesia to block pain in the low back, belly and lower trunk area. It allows the anesthesia doctor to give a smaller amount of general anesthesia during the surgery, and also provides up to 4 hours of pain relief in that area after the surgery.
When general anesthesia is needed, there are important rules for eating and drinking that must be followed in the hours before the surgery. One business day before your child’s surgery, you will receive a phone call from a surgical nurse between the hours of 1 and 9 p.m. (Nurses do not make these calls on weekends or holidays.) Please have paper and a pen ready to write down these important instructions.
For children older than 12 months:
For infants under 12 months:
For all children:
The most important role of a parent or guardian is to help your child stay calm and relaxed before the surgery. The best way to help your child stay calm is for you to stay calm.
Once your child has been registered for the surgery at the Same Day Surgery Center, a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant and a member of the anesthesia staff will meet with you to take your child’s vital signs, weight and medical history. As the parent or legal guardian, you will be asked to sign a consent form before the anesthesia is given.
After your child is asleep, the doctor will begin the circumcision.
While your child is asleep, his heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and blood oxygen level will be checked continuously.
When your child is moved to the recovery room, you will be called so that you can be there as he wakes up.
After your child is discharged and goes home, he may still be groggy and should take it easy for the day.
If your child has any special needs or health issues you feel the doctor needs to know about, please call the Department of Urology at UPMC Children’s Hospital before the surgery and ask to speak with a nurse. It is important to notify us in advance about any special needs your child might have.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.