How long should I keep the bandage on after circumcision?

After your circumcision is complete your surgeon will bandage the wound. This will help to soak up any remaining blood or other fluids and protect the incision.

A bandage serves two purposes:

  • the first is to ensure a tight compression of the penis and minimise and reduce the swelling, which is a natural bodily response to surgery
  • the second is to absorb any bleeding and preserve the cleanliness from the wound and reduce the risk of infection

Both the World Health Organisation and the British Association of Urological Surgeons recommend that the dressing should be removed 24 to 48 hours after circumcision, provided there is no bleeding or oozing.

You should also remove the bandage if it becomes wet or urine-soaked.

You should not shower or otherwise wet the bandage whilst it is still on.

How to remove your circumcision bandage

Sometimes, a dressing will fall off automatically. In other cases, it can stick to the skin.

Do not try and rip or tear the bandage off, as this could affect the healing process of the surgery.

Instead, you can soak your bandaged penis in a solution of salt dissolved in lukewarm water. A mug or glass can be good for this as it does not require a lot of water.

Soaking the bandage should help you to gently loosen it and remove it, whilst the salt will help to disinfect the area.

Once you remove your bandage, make sure to keep your circumcision clean by wearing freshly laundered underwear every day.

Once your bandage has been removed you can take a shower, although you must ensure to dry your penis fully. Avoid soaking in a bath or pool.

Replacing the bandage

If your circumcision is still bleeding or oozing you should apply a new dressing. You can re-check the bandage every 24-48 hours.

It is important only to use new, sterile materials to re-bandage the wound. You will need:

  • medical gauze
  • sterile bandage
  • antiseptic cream
  • sterile scissors
  • surgical tape

Make sure your hands and scissors are clean before you re-bandage yourself.

  1. Start by cleaning the area, if it is not already clean from the saline solution.
  2. Then apply a small amount of antiseptic cream along the scar line.
  3. Cut a small amount of gauze to wrap around the wound. This stops the bandage from sticking to the healing skin.
  4. Then use a longer piece of sterile bandage to wrap around and keep the gauze in place. Use surgical tape to keep this in place.
  5. Make sure the bandage is tight but not too tight.

Make sure to replace the bandage every 24 hours.

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