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Newborn circumcision is very safe in experienced hands. It is performed daily across the United States on thousands of newborn boys with rare complication.

There are, however, potential complications with circumcision as with any surgery and parents should be aware of this remote possibility.

Most common complications are:

  1. Bleeding immediately after the procedure.
  2. Bleeding several hours after the procedure.
  3. Poor healing.
  4. Adhesion formation.
  5. Infection.

Extremely rare complications:

  1. Damage to the penis. This includes inadvertent laceration, abrasion, amputation, crushing or other trauma.
  2. Damage to surrounding area. This includes inadvertent laceration, abrasion, blunt trauma or other unforeseen complication.
  3. Uncontrollable profuse bleeding.

(I want to emphasize that rare complications of circumcision occur once in several millions of procedures and is the type of risk that is analogous to the risk of being struck by lightening)

What does this all mean to me?

Complications are not necessarily the "fault" of the practitioner or mohel. Most times, a complication is a random event and easily dealt with. A well trained mohel or physician should be capable of contending with most common complications. If a mohel tells you they have never had a complication in their career, they are either brand new at the profession and have limited experience as a mohel, or they are telling you an untruth. Given enough ceremonies a complication is to be occasionally expected. What one does not want to learn is that a particular mohel has a consistent history of complication with their circumcisions. Your best bet is to strive to hire a mohel, be the mohel a physician or non-physician, who has a lot of experience and a universally good reputation.

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