[Should circumcision be performed in childhood?]

Arch Esp Urol. 2002 Sep;55(7):807-11.
[Article in Spanish]


Objective: To evaluate prepuce development and retractibility in a group of boys. To point out the value of circumcision and prepucial forced dilation during childhood.

Methods: Prepuce development and retractibility were evaluated in 400 boys ages between 0-16 year old.

Results: In boys under 1 year prepuce retractibility (assessed only in children who did not undergo forced dilation previously) was type I (non retractile) in 71.5% whereas type V (completely retractile) was only 5.5%. In adolescent boys type I prepuce was observed in 1 boy only, 1.6%, whereas type V was observed in 82.3%. Furthermore, it was observed that at the time of examination for the study 106 boys who had undergone forced dilation at an earlier age had balano-prepucial adhesions again, which demonstrates that prepuce adheres again to glans penis in many boys after a forced dilation is performed. Only 11 boys were considered in need for circumcision, three of them for prepucial orifice stenosis, which prevented normal micturition, causing a prepucial sac, one case due to a constrictive ring below the prepucial edge that would have prevented ulterior retractability, two cases with repetitive balanopostitis, and five cases secondary to xerosol balanitis, accounting for 2.7% of all examined boys.

Conclusions: Incomplete separation between prepuce and glans penis is normal and common among new-borns, progressing until adolescence to spontaneous separation, at which time it is complete in the majority of boys. Accordingly to the criteria we have sustained for years and present study's findings, circumcision has few indications during childhood, as well as forced prepucial dilation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child, Preschool
  • Circumcision, Male* / adverse effects
  • Circumcision, Male* / psychology
  • Dilatation / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Penile Diseases / epidemiology
  • Penis / growth & development
  • Phimosis / epidemiology
  • Phimosis / surgery*
  • Tissue Adhesions / epidemiology
  • Unnecessary Procedures*