Penis and scrotum

Authors: Antonio Cubilla, M.D., Alcides Chaux, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 28 March 2018, last major update May 2010

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Circumcision[TI] penis pathology

Cite this page: Cubilla, A., Chaux, A. Circumcision. website. Accessed July 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Surgical excision of foreskin
  • Recommended by WHO to reduce incidence of HIV in heterosexual men (J Infect Dev Ctries 2008;2:328, WHO: HIV / AIDS [Accessed 28 March 2018])
  • In U.S., neonatal circumcision is estimated to reduce HIV risk by 16% (PLoS One 2010;5:e8723)
  • Circumcision is associated with reduced incidence of penile cancer if performed at birth, by preventing chronic inflammatory preputial conditions (lichen sclerosus, chronic balanoposthitis); less effective in preventing penile cancer when carried out in adulthood
  • Noncircumcised men have higher incidence of HPV and HIV, possibly due to CD4+ T lymphocytes on inner mucosa of foreskin or increased incidence of coital injuries (J Urol 2010;184:203)
  • Higher risk of complications at older ages, with inexperienced providers or with nonsterile conditions (BMC Urol 2010;10:2)
  • See Wikipedia: Circumcision Controversies [Accessed 28 March 2018] for discussion of controversies about circumcision
Diagrams / tables

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Procedure images