What to Expect?
The first thing you may notice is swelling of the penis, particularly in the area right below the head of the penis. Most swelling resolves in 3 days. You may also notice some spotting of blood from the under surface of the penis. All spotting should stop within 24 hours. A scab, which looks like a yellow film, will most likely form on the head of the penis. This is not an infection! Leave the scab alone. The circumcision should be well healed in 7-10 days.
Yellow Colored Gauze
You will also notice a yellow-colored Vaseline gauze wrapped around the penis. This gauze aids in homeostasis and protects the surgical site from infection. Sometimes, the yellow wrap falls off on its own. But if it has not fallen off, it must be removed between 24-36 hours after the circumcision. Most parents have no difficulty removing the bandage. But if you find that it is “sticking” to the penis, then squirt Vaseline over the yellow gauze and re-diaper the baby. Wait about 15 minutes for it to soften, and then remove it.
Apply a generous amount of Vaseline ointment to the 4”x 4” gauze pad. Then fold the gauze pad over the head of the penis and close the diaper snugly. Basic care is designed to keep the penis well lubricated, and to prevent it from sticking to the diaper. I will review this with you in person. For one week after the circumcision, change the gauze pad with every diaper.
When Can I Bathe the Baby?
For the week after the circumcision, sponge bathe the baby. There is no need to wash the penis. After seven days, the baby may be fully bathed so long as the umbilical cord has fallen off and the belly button is well healed.
What If I Notice Bleeding?
If you see just a few drops of blood, or a tiny ooze, leave it alone. Clotting will typically happen on its own. If there is spurting vessel or a steady ooze, fold a dry gauze pad in half and then wrap the gauze around the penis (just below the head), applying direct pressure with both of your thumbs and index fingers with circumferential pressure.
Pinch hard enough until your nail beds blanch white, and do this for 5 minutes without peeking. The baby will probably cry when you do this. If the bleeding does not stop, call me immediately.
What If Stool Gets on the Penis?
Squeeze a washcloth, soaked in warm water, over the penis until it is clean. Or you may use a syringe or a medicine dropper to squirt water. If this does not work, gently dab away the stool with a wet cotton ball.