How do I reduce swelling after circumcision?

Most men experience some sort of swelling after circumcision surgery. It is part of your body’s healing response to the incision.

In some cases, swelling may not occur instantly but after a delay of several hours or days. It is generally worst a few days after surgery and will slowly get better.

You may also experience bruising following your operation. This is also normal.

How long does swelling last?

The severity and length of the swelling varies from person to person. Some people experience only very minor swelling whilst others may find their penis appears to ‘balloon’. It is very common for the inner foreskin to swell into a doughnut shaped ring around the bottom of the glans.

Most of the swelling will resolve itself within a month or six weeks after circumcision, but it can take up to six months for swelling to disappear completely.

Remember that you are still healing, even when your penis returns to its normal shape and size. Whilst everything may look normal on the outside your body will continue to create permanent bonds where the two parts of skin were connected.

Top tips to reduce swelling after circumcision

You can reduce the swelling on your penis in a number of ways:

Use an ice pack to reduce swelling

Applying a covered ice pack to the area for 20-30 minutes every 2-3 hours for the first 24 hours acts as a preventative measure and will help reduce the amount of swelling that occurs.

Make sure there is no direct contact between the ice pack and the skin. You can use a pillow case or tea towel to wrap the ice pack (or frozen peas!).

Keep your penis upright

Another way to ease any swelling is to try and keep your penis pointing upwards towards your belly button. This allows the lymphatic fluid, which is the primary cause of swelling after circumcision, to drain more easily. Tight, supportive underwear can be helpful during this time to keep the penis in place.

The best healer is time

Swelling after circumcision is a natural part of the healing process and is not cause for concern, unless it becomes so painful that it cannot be controlled with over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

In most cases swelling reduces within weeks of surgery and you should notice it continue to reduce as time goes on.

3 replies on “How do I reduce swelling after circumcision?”

My husband has always wanted to be circumcised because of the convenience and cleanliness. I have never cared one way or the other. He is now thinking about setting up an appointment. Thank you for the suggestions on how to take care of it post-op. It is nice to know that about a half hour of ice every few hours for the first day can help reduce the swelling. We will be sure to take your advice in order to minimize any trouble.

Vivian Black. Hope you get this. I should have been circumcised at birth. Mom gave ok , all my cousins about same age were circumcised. I was 5 and had forced foreskin retraction. Even masturbation hurt. Long thick frenulum wife was supportive,was used to circumcised guys. So at 20 a precancerous lesion appeared. Circumcised, rest is history. We had a great sex. life

I was circumcised when 20. My wife prefers it( her father/brother ( circumcised) With so many benefits, and my age groups(1950) my mom gave ok and my cousins ( same pregnancy) were circumcised. Mom didn’t check I guess. 15 years of pain. They should ( unless mom refused) just automatically circumcise every baby boy. As RN (OB- GYN ) every mom I took care of postpartum, their sons were ALL, circumcised. Thx for your posts

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