Late complications of newborn circumcision: a common and avoidable problem



The purpose of this paper is to study the types of operative and post-operative late complications resulting from newborn circumcisions and to make recommendations to prevent them.


After obtaining IRB approval, a retrospective review of the late complications resulting from newborn circumcisions treated at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children from January 2003 to December 2007 was undertaken. The source used was the consultation notes and operative reports of affected patients. Additionally, cases seen in the outpatient Pediatric Urology Clinic from April 2007 to April 2008 were reviewed.


A total of 8,967 children were operated during the study period, of which 424 (4.7%) were for complications resulting from previous neonatal circumcision. Penile adhesions, skin bridges, meatal stenosis, redundant foreskin (incomplete circumcision with uncircumcised appearance), recurrent phimosis, buried penis and penile rotation were the most frequent complications. At the outpatient clinic of the Section of Pediatric Urology, 127 boys with concerns following newborn circumcision were evaluated, representing 7.4% of the total volume of cases seen in this clinic.


Our results indicate the need to undertake a collaborative study to define the incidence of complications following newborn circumcisions, which should be performed by practitioners with adequate training in the technique of their choice and its post-operative care.

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Correspondence to Rafael V. Pieretti.

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Pieretti, R.V., Goldstein, A.M. & Pieretti-Vanmarcke, R. Late complications of newborn circumcision: a common and avoidable problem. Pediatr Surg Int 26, 515–518 (2010).

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  • Circumcision
  • Complications
  • Newborn