Circumcision in the paediatric patient: A review of indications, technique and complications

J Paediatr Child Health. 2018 Dec;54(12):1299-1307. doi: 10.1111/jpc.14206. Epub 2018 Sep 23.


Circumcision is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the world. Despite this, the practice of paediatric circumcision remains highly controversial, and continues to generate ongoing debate. This debate has become more relevant recently with the provisional guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommending a change of practice. In this review article, we provide an overview of the history and incidence of circumcision, normal preputial development, types of phimosis, the absolute and relative indications for circumcision as well as the evidence base for its use as a preventative measure. Our aim is to provide paediatricians with a greater understanding of this common surgical procedure and the conditions it treats, to guide their clinical practice and parent counselling.

Keywords: Plastibell; balanitis xerotica obliterans; circumcision; paediatric circumcision; phimosis.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Circumcision, Male* / adverse effects
  • Circumcision, Male* / history
  • Circumcision, Male* / methods
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / education
  • Preventive Medicine*