Many circumcised men get the procedure done as teenagers or adults for several reasons (cultural, religious, or to lower the risk of certain STDs). However, circumcision is still a surgical procedure and requires a certain level of aftercare to heal properly.
Here are some tips for keeping your procedure as pain-free as possible.
- Be Aware of the Recovery Time
After a circumcision adulthood procedure, you can expect to remove the bandage and shower normally after two days. It can take up to 6 weeks to fully recover, though it doesn’t take most people that long. Bruising or swelling can last up to a month, which is normal.
During that time, try to avoid exercise for at least a week after the surgery. This includes everything from swimming to heavy lifting. You also want to abstain from sexual intercourse or masturbation for about 4 weeks. Don’t drink or smoke until you’re fully healed, as these activities will slow down healing, may cause complications, and can interfere with prescribed medication.
- Take Painkiller Medication Responsibly
You will be under local anesthesia during the procedure, and will be prescribed painkilling medication afterwards. Your doctor should tell you what you can and can’t take during the healing process.
For example, Tylenol will generally be okay, but exercise caution with medications that may cause blood thinning. Also, only take your medication as directed. Too much or too little can hinder your healing and general health.
Again, avoid smoking or drinking until your doctor says it’s okay. Any non-prescription substances can cause undesirable side effects with the painkillers you will be taking.
- Avoid Exercise
If your job isn’t physically demanding, you can expect to return to work after about 3 days. However, if you need to lift anything heavier than 10lbs, be on your feet for hours, or do anything else that might be strenuous, then you’ll have to wait at least a week.
Of course, these are average numbers. You’ll need to ask your doctor when you can return to normal activities. Exercising too early after surgery can cause injury and delay healing, meaning that you’ll have to wait even longer before returning to work.
- Be Mindful of Stitches
To close the incision, your doctor will likely use small stitches. These will be absorbed into the body over time as your circumcision heals.
If you exercise or engage in sexual activity too early, you risk breaking these sutures before you are fully healed. This can result in bleeding, and you may need to undergo revision surgery from your doctor.
- Don’t Forget About Scar Care
Circumcision can leave a small scar where the incision was made. The size, shape, and permanence of the scar depends on the surgical procedure used, as well as the age of the patient.
To minimize scarring as much as possible, there are several steps you can take. First, wash the site with warm, soapy water daily. Next, you can apply special scar creams to speed up healing, or petroleum jelly to avoid friction.
Wear clothing with good support, but isn’t so tight that it causes pain.
After the procedure, your doctor will tell you how to take care of yourself until you’re fully healed. Following your doctor’s instructions is the most important step, no matter what else. If you experience anything out of the ordinary following your surgery, call your doctor immediately.
There are risks involved with any surgical procedure, but circumcision is generally very safe. Any problems that arise can be fixed, especially if they are caught quickly. So don’t worry, do as your doctor says, and you’ll be back to normal in no time.