30 doctors weighed in:
Do circumcisions hurt babies?
30 doctors weighed in

Dr. George Klauber
Pediatrics - Urology
7 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Some people don't believe babies feel pain.
That is false they certainly feel pain. That is why we use lmx (4% Lidocaine cream) on outside of penis in a glove finger "condom" for 30 minutes before infant circumcisions to numb the outer skin, then apply 2% xylocaine (lidocaine) jelly under the foreskin once retracted. Are also given "sweetease" sugar solution to suck on, to reduce pain sensation.

In brief: Yes
Some people don't believe babies feel pain.
That is false they certainly feel pain. That is why we use lmx (4% Lidocaine cream) on outside of penis in a glove finger "condom" for 30 minutes before infant circumcisions to numb the outer skin, then apply 2% xylocaine (lidocaine) jelly under the foreskin once retracted. Are also given "sweetease" sugar solution to suck on, to reduce pain sensation.
Dr. George Klauber
Dr. George Klauber
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Dr. Jesse Mills
Urology
5 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Circumcisions do hurt but most doctors use a local anesthetic to lessen the pain.
The older a kid gets, the more painful they become. If you want your boy circumcised, probably best to do it when they're first born.

In brief: Yes
Circumcisions do hurt but most doctors use a local anesthetic to lessen the pain.
The older a kid gets, the more painful they become. If you want your boy circumcised, probably best to do it when they're first born.
Dr. Jesse Mills
Dr. Jesse Mills
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3 comments
Dr. Robert Donato
Performing neonatal circumcisions also helps to spare the older (3-4 yo) boys the anxiety and perception of himself as "unusual" because he has to have surgery. The only drawback I've found with neonatal circumcision is that the babies can't walk for 10-14 months afterward.
Dr. James Ferguson
I find Dr.Donato's comment odd.After an excess of a thousand neonatal circumcisions over 3 decades in kids I follow for years, I have never had any delay their walking.
Dr. Nanette Nuessle
Pediatrics
4 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Over the years, many different types of pain control have been tried for newborn circumcision.
Unfortunately, none of them have been very successful. As physicians, many of us continue to administer a local anesthetic, as it does offer limited relief to a number of infants. However, nothing stops the pain completely.

In brief: Yes
Over the years, many different types of pain control have been tried for newborn circumcision.
Unfortunately, none of them have been very successful. As physicians, many of us continue to administer a local anesthetic, as it does offer limited relief to a number of infants. However, nothing stops the pain completely.
Dr. Nanette Nuessle
Dr. Nanette Nuessle
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3 doctors agree
In brief: See answer
To circ or not to circ, that is the question?.
.And an age old debate that cannot be answered in 400 words or less. I too have done hundreds of circumcisions in my career as a urologist. Are they painful? Yes, just like colic, teething, vaccine shots, etc. Does an anesthetic block help? Yes. Does one episode of inflicted pain/discomfort (circ)cause long-term psychological damage? I don't believe so.

In brief: See answer
To circ or not to circ, that is the question?.
.And an age old debate that cannot be answered in 400 words or less. I too have done hundreds of circumcisions in my career as a urologist. Are they painful? Yes, just like colic, teething, vaccine shots, etc. Does an anesthetic block help? Yes. Does one episode of inflicted pain/discomfort (circ)cause long-term psychological damage? I don't believe so.
Dr. Gregory Lewis
Dr. Gregory Lewis
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Dr. Frank Butera
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree
In brief: Not much....
...If done with proper local anesthesia.
I did hundreds over the past few years with some oral sugar water followed by a local injection of xylocaine (lidocaine). The boys did not seem to cry during or after the procedure any more than the boys who did not get circumsised. Nevertheless, I do agree the reasons for getting a circumcision are not very compelling and he will certainly do ok without one.

In brief: Not much....
...If done with proper local anesthesia.
I did hundreds over the past few years with some oral sugar water followed by a local injection of xylocaine (lidocaine). The boys did not seem to cry during or after the procedure any more than the boys who did not get circumsised. Nevertheless, I do agree the reasons for getting a circumcision are not very compelling and he will certainly do ok without one.
Dr. Frank Butera
Dr. Frank Butera
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Dr. Lane Childs
Urology
3 doctors agree
In brief: No
It has been rumored that circumcisions hurt the baby so much they are unable to walk for one year. .
. . But circumcision can be done with a local anesthetic making the procedure painless and well-tolerated. The pros and cons of circumcision have long been debated, however any minor pain involved with the procedure should not be a significant deciding factor to circumcise or not.

In brief: No
It has been rumored that circumcisions hurt the baby so much they are unable to walk for one year. .
. . But circumcision can be done with a local anesthetic making the procedure painless and well-tolerated. The pros and cons of circumcision have long been debated, however any minor pain involved with the procedure should not be a significant deciding factor to circumcise or not.
Dr. Lane Childs
Dr. Lane Childs
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Dr. Sarah Kohl
Travel Medicine
3 doctors agree
In brief: Yes
Circumcision is temporarily painful for you son.
Talk to your doctor about ways to minimize the discomfort with pain medications and soothing techniques.

In brief: Yes
Circumcision is temporarily painful for you son.
Talk to your doctor about ways to minimize the discomfort with pain medications and soothing techniques.
Dr. Sarah Kohl
Dr. Sarah Kohl
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Dr. Sue Hall
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree
In brief: No
Babies definitely feel pain! the pain of circumcision can be minimized or eliminated by using a nerve block with Lidocaine to numb the penis before the surgery.
Many doctors will also use an oral sucrose solution as a method of pain control. Many baby boys get through circumcision without crying at all. They can also be given tylenol (acetaminophen) if needed after the procedure to soothe any pain.

In brief: No
Babies definitely feel pain! the pain of circumcision can be minimized or eliminated by using a nerve block with Lidocaine to numb the penis before the surgery.
Many doctors will also use an oral sucrose solution as a method of pain control. Many baby boys get through circumcision without crying at all. They can also be given tylenol (acetaminophen) if needed after the procedure to soothe any pain.
Dr. Sue Hall
Dr. Sue Hall
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2 comments
Dr. Sue Hall
I did say that babies feel pain and certainly a circumcision without adequate pain relief will hurt a lot! My answer of "no" was intended to suggest that pain can be controlled. The injections are done with a fine gauge needle after giving sweet-eze, and honestly some babies never cry, and not because they are checked out. I didn't say either that I'm in favor of circumcision. That is entirely a matter of personal choice, even though there is no medical necessity for circumcision to be done.
Dr. George Klauber
LMX cream is so effective that many babies sleep through the entire procedure, some others give a little whimper as PlastiBell string is tied (most painful part of PlastiBell circumcision). Usually less than from the needle pain caused by the local anesthetic injection.
2 doctors agree
In brief: CIrc controversy
While new studies show a protective effect of circ in the transmission of certain stds; many groups are still debating the practice; my view is that it is a personal family decision and there are pro/cons on both sides regarding risks of problems i believe that the risk is very low but not zero.

In brief: CIrc controversy
While new studies show a protective effect of circ in the transmission of certain stds; many groups are still debating the practice; my view is that it is a personal family decision and there are pro/cons on both sides regarding risks of problems i believe that the risk is very low but not zero.
Dr. Richard Sarle
Dr. Richard Sarle
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2 doctors agree
In brief: Circ
Im not sure what you are asking.
If you are asking, does doing a circ on a baby causes pain, the answer is yes. I normally use an anesthetic cream or local injection. Newborns are sensitive to pain like anybody else. If you are asking about long term, is rare but there can be scarring or sometimes deformity if not properly done.

In brief: Circ
Im not sure what you are asking.
If you are asking, does doing a circ on a baby causes pain, the answer is yes. I normally use an anesthetic cream or local injection. Newborns are sensitive to pain like anybody else. If you are asking about long term, is rare but there can be scarring or sometimes deformity if not properly done.
Dr. Francisco R. Rodriguez
Dr. Francisco R. Rodriguez
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In brief: Yes
In a study done looking at many variables trying to quantify pain those that were circumsized took longer to feed effectively and the study was stopped for ethical reasons.

In brief: Yes
In a study done looking at many variables trying to quantify pain those that were circumsized took longer to feed effectively and the study was stopped for ethical reasons.
Dr. Robert Bennett
Dr. Robert Bennett
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In brief: Likely yes, but
The pain is not long lasting and not remembered.
Additionally, there are other benefits of neonatal circumcision. Including fewer infant uti's annd less transmission of std's, including hiv. There is also less cervical cancer in the female partners of circumcised men.

In brief: Likely yes, but
The pain is not long lasting and not remembered.
Additionally, there are other benefits of neonatal circumcision. Including fewer infant uti's annd less transmission of std's, including hiv. There is also less cervical cancer in the female partners of circumcised men.
Dr. Yale Shulman
Dr. Yale Shulman
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics
In brief: Yes
A baby suffers some pain during and after a circumcision, because the penis is a sensitive part of the body, and the skin on the end of it gets cut off.
Local anesthetic around the penis area is used, but the anesthesia is not perfect, and it also wears off shortly after the circumcision.

In brief: Yes
A baby suffers some pain during and after a circumcision, because the penis is a sensitive part of the body, and the skin on the end of it gets cut off.
Local anesthetic around the penis area is used, but the anesthesia is not perfect, and it also wears off shortly after the circumcision.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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1 comment
Dr. George Klauber
Pain is minimal 30 -40 minutes after application of of 4% lidocaine cream. In fact have had had any number of babies who have slept thru the whole thing. Have to assume those babies only had minimal pain & not sufficient to wake them.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics
In brief: Yes
Of course! a local anesthetic should be injected prior to the actual procedure, and the area should be numb for a while afterwards, but the healing process takes 7-10 days.
The doctors and nurses will show you the proper way to protect the penis as it heals.

In brief: Yes
Of course! a local anesthetic should be injected prior to the actual procedure, and the area should be numb for a while afterwards, but the healing process takes 7-10 days.
The doctors and nurses will show you the proper way to protect the penis as it heals.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Dr. Pamela Lindor
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1 comment
Dr. George Klauber
Topical 4% lidocaine cream applied 30 minutes 0r more before the procedure avoids pain of injecting local anesthetic & virtually eliminates pain of the procedure. We apply finger or thumb tip of an examining glove as a "mini-condom" to keep anesthetic cream in place.
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