Circumcision is an optional (elective) surgery. Since all surgery has complications and consequences, and because it is parents, not doctors, who are “prescribing” it, then they first need to learn everything there is to know about it. Parents considering circumcision are encouraged to witness an actual live procedure or a video of a circumcision before making their decision, so that they know exactly what they are requesting and that their boy endure.

Rarely does an experienced surgeon perform the operation; it is usually done by a hospital resident (i.e., student doctor), often as their first attempt at surgery. The precise manner in which a circumcision is carried out varies with his or her preferred method: any one of a variety of clamps, freehand technique, or some other.1 The most common of these procedures in the United States is the Gomco clamp method, which we go on to describe in the following pages.23

NEXT: What happens before the circumcision

This information has been reviewed by our panel of experts and other trusted advisors, however, it is not a substitute for professional medical, legal, or spiritual advice.

  1. Stang HJ, Snellman LW. Circumcision Practice Patterns in the United States. Pediatrics. 1998;101(6):e5.
  2. The Gomco Technique. Patient Care 1978;12:82-85.
  3. HealthWise Medical Reference, Available online at: http://children.webmd.com/tc/circumcision-what-happens-during-a-circumcision Last Updated: February 19, 2008.