Pain in neonatal circumcision

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1991 Jul;30(7):429-32. doi: 10.1177/000992289103000704.


Because newborn circumcision is a quick and safe surgical procedure, any method to relieve pain must be almost risk-free in order to be acceptable. General anesthesia and narcotic analgesia are not appropriate. Dorsal penile nerve block (DPNB) with lidocaine hydrochloride is probably the most effective and safest form of anesthesia for newborn circumcision currently available, but it can cause significant local and systemic reactions. Only a limited number of cases of DPNB have been reported and we feel that this procedure should be used cautiously until there is more published evidence of its safety. Alternative methods of pain relief including oral acetaminophen and topical anesthesia should also be studied. Of special interest is recent evidence that a sucrose-flavored pacifier is an effective analgesic during newborn circumcision.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use*
  • Anesthesia, Local
  • Circumcision, Male / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nerve Block*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain, Postoperative / therapy
  • Penis / innervation


  • Acetaminophen