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After surgery, your child's penis may be painful, swollen, and bruised. In an older baby or child, there may be some blood coming from the wound edge. The penis may have petroleum jelly and gauze on it from surgery. If gauze is used, follow your doctor's directions about when to remove it. When you remove the gauze, first soak it in warm water, and then gently loosen it.
Your child may not sleep as well and may seem fussy while the circumcision site heals. Let your child return to normal activities when your child seems ready or when your doctor says it's okay. This is usually in 2 or 3 days.
If your child wears diapers, use petroleum jelly with each diaper change. Fasten the diapers loosely. If your child wears underpants, make sure that the pants aren't rubbing on the penis.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for your child to recover. But each child recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to help your child get better as quickly as possible.
If your doctor told you how to care for your child's incision, follow your doctor's instructions. If you did not get instructions, follow this general advice:
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if your child has any problems.
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Current as of: October 18, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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