another myth...

Circumcisions Grow Back

They don't.

Maybe I should leave it here and not delve into penis descriptions, but I get so many questions on the way circumcisions look, that I think it may be wise to cautiously proceed.

I need to define some anatomy first.  The very top part of the penis, the part that is a really beefy red color right after the circumcision is called the glans.  It had been covered by the foreskin, but the foreskin is what was removed during the procedure.  Sometimes there is a little "remnant" of the foreskin left over, since it's common to leave a little of the foreskin unharmed.

Usually, it's this remnant that is the source of the concern.  It can get pushed up by fat from the baby's belly area and cover the glans.  So, to find out if the circumcision was ok, you just need to push the fat back until you get to the base of the penis.  If the glans gets exposed, then everything's OK.  If you can't see the glans, then we have to talk. That is called an "adhesion," can be a complication of the surgery and may need revision.

Sometimes, when you do this, a whole bunch of white stuff comes out.   That's not pus, it's smegma (I can't believe there's a name for it!) and it's supposed to be there.  Smegma is a white debris under the foreskin remnant and it looks a whole lot like pus (like a huge zit).  It helps separate the foreskin remnant from the glans so that as the kids get closer to kindergarten age, the glans will be completely exposed. So it's NOT pus, and it really does serve a purpose.  There is no need to liberate it, so to speak, by pulling back on the foreskin remnant.  It hurts when we pull back on it and mother nature will take care of it eventually.  It may take awhile, but it does get better.  Patience ;)

Sometimes the fat pad that the little boy develops near the penis covers the penis almost completely.  The penis is alive and well there, you just have to push away the fat to see it.  That does get better with time.  Really.

The very tip of the penis, where urine comes out, will often be very red in intact infants.  It's usually from it rubbing against the diaper and it really needs no treatment.