Cicumcision Scars - What do they look l... - Men's Health Forum

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Cicumcision Scars - What do they look like through the healing process?

nheather profile image

I had a cicumcision three weeks ago to address problems with tightening foreskin and failed frenuloplasty.

I wasn't particularly happy with the slightly unusual procedure my doctor elected to do but I am more or less over that assuming that it heals okay.

The incisions are now beginning to heal, and while I appreciate that it is early days, I am still worried about the scars.

There are two worries

1 - in the first week stiches failed in a section on the top part of the penis (as I look down at it). This cause the incision to gape open during the healing process and I can see that the scar is much wider and irregular as a result. It doesn't look like it will ever be a nice thin line but on the plus side it is pretty flat.

2 - as for the rest of the incision, some of it is quite thin and flat (particularly to the right as I look down) but the rest has a really pronounced ridge (particular to the left and behind as I look down). When I say pronounced, I mean it feels like a thin shoelace. This is in an area where the stitches held and the wound quite neat.

Because of my concerns the doctor has inspected it twice and I have another appointment in three weeks time. My concern is that he has focussed on the area where the stitches failed. He has been positive but not convincingly, saying things like we can always cut the scarring out at the later date.

But to be honest I'm less worried about that are, it does look like the scar won't be neat but it does look like it will be flat.

I'm more worried about where the scar is ridged like a thin shoelace. Is that normal, will it flatten out ir am I going to be left with a raised ridge of scar tissue. I've no idea what to expect in the healing process, what I should expect to see, how that will change, and in what timescale.

I shall certainly raise it with the doctor when I see him in the new year but for now would appreciate any insight and advice on here.



27 Replies

You're still very early days and are noticing improvements, but it may take 6 months or more to get an idea of the final results.

There is a danger of making yourself unwell by worrying about it when there's nothing you can do other than wait.

nheather profile image
nheather in reply to Goldfish_

Hopefully you are correct - it would be more comforting is my doctor spoke as confidently though.



Goldfish_ profile image
Goldfish_ in reply to nheather

Sounds like he's trying his best but is naturally cautious following your previous contacts.

At the end of the day you have to be patient though

DarkSider profile image
DarkSider in reply to nheather

Hey, Nigel, How is it? Is it still abnormal?

Its early days. Scar tissue can take a while to resolve. You can help things along by using something like bio-oil. This should help with the healing process and keep the skin supple and moisturised.

nheather profile image
nheather in reply to deepspace

I've been using E45 initially, and just recently I have started using the Boots Scar Serum which I assume is pretty much the same as bio oil.

What I can't imagine is the extent of the change that will happen. I can look at the parts that are relatively flat and imagine them smoothing out and lightening in colour. But it is the ones that are thick ridges (like string or thin shoelace) that I'm concerned about - it is hard to imagine those becoming flat thin lines.



Lunitis profile image
Lunitis in reply to nheather

Hi there. So what is this E45 for. And how does that help. I have been circumcised for 5 months now and around my scar hurts like if it's going to open up again. Any thoughts.

Where was it you got the procedure done as i am looking to be cut and was it private or not ?

jaglad profile image
jaglad in reply to Crazy-Ryan

I had my circumcision done on the NHS following referral by my GP due to underlying health issues, listed elsewhere.

I would suggest unless you really need this procedure, do not have it done. I am on the road to recovery, but certainly would not have it done by choice. The pain and discomfort is not something I would want to repeat. Sex is off the menu for at least four weeks, which is killing me !

Best of luck.

nheather profile image
nheather in reply to jaglad

I'm in my 4th week and I would say that it isn't even close to 'system ready'.

I've read elsewhere that it is more like 10-12 weeks.



Crazy-Ryan profile image
Crazy-Ryan in reply to jaglad

I do think i need it. When erect it is painful and pulling back foreskin all the way is painful too. If you dont mind me asking what hospital was it and what age are you ?

nheather profile image
nheather in reply to Crazy-Ryan

Sorry, missed your question. It was on NHS. With hindsight a little miffed with myself.

I have private health cover so I was going to use that. I saw my GP who referred me to an NHS specialist very quickly for assessment. I went to that, he said "circumcision" and that he would refer me for the operation on the NHS. I assumed that it would take a year or more to get the operation because it is hardly a priority. So I was going to go back to my GP and ask him to refer me privately. But before I could do so, the NHS operation date came through really quickly.

I thought that I may as well have it done for free (my private operation would have involved an excess and a reduction in no-claims) and besides it is a simple operation and thought the NHS specialists would be just as capable.

If you haven't got a medical scheme then I think it would be around £1,500 to £2,000 to do it privately when I looked.



Well nheather, that's my Christmas ruined ! LoL. Leaflet from Hospital said at least four weeks, which is approaching. I have been crossing the days off like an Advent calender.

Crazy-Ryan, I would suggest trying the creams suggested earlier first or possibly a partial circumcision. Procedure was carried out at Arrowe Park, Wirral. Not local to me but my GP referred me there as the Consultant was the only one in the area able to do.

I am 52 and there was a cancer risk in my case.

nheather profile image
nheather in reply to jaglad

Got the same leaflet - 4 weeks - I was surprised because everything I had read before said something like 10-12 weeks.

My take for what its worth. After 4 weeks the incisions have joined but the wound/scar will still be red and painful. I guess in theory you could have sex but I wouldn't because (a) it will be painful and (b) I would be scared of opening the healing wound or causing infection.




It is now four weeks after the operation and her is the status.

The scar line is irregular and pretty lumpy. I'd say that only a third of it is flat, the rest is a raised ridge, like thin string.

There is a section where the stiches failed and the scar there is about 10mm long and upto 3mm wide and very red.

There are two hard lumps under the skin either side of a vein. These are both bewteen the scar line and body. The are about 10mm and 5mm from the scar line, so quite seperate from the visible scar. They feel hard, and smooth like bone (but I appreciate that they are not).

They area is still quite sore - not painkiller sore, but enough to feel it and now it is there.

I appreciate that people here have said that it takes many months to heal properly but it is difficult not to worry. It looks a right old mess and hard to imagine it looking neat once healed.

I also don't have a great deal of confidence in the NHS staff, the doctor who did the operation isn't too bad, but he has now changed his tune to "the priority is functionality and we can deal with cosmetic later if necessary" - which in my head I now interpretting as "my job was to sort out the short frenulum, as long as that it successful it doesn't matter what the end result looks like". But the registrar who saw me when my i visited the hospital ward about the failed stitches said "nothing to worry about, that job is so neat, I don't know how Doctor XXX does such a neat job, I wish my work was that good". I can't correlate his words with what I am looking out - if this is neat I would dread to see untidy. To be honest it just felt like he was closing ranks, fobbing me off to protect his colleagues.

I have an appointment with the doctor on 4th Jan and clearly I will put my concerns to him strongly, but even though it is little over two weeks away I know I such worry every day until then. I am getting quite low and depressed about it. Wonder whether I should visit the GP this week to see what they think.



Hi Nigel sorry to read you have had problems with scarring following your Op'. Not sure if it suitable for this area but Bio Oil is good for healing scars on the skin generally.

I think my circumcision was two or three weeks after yours. The scarring seems minimal and I am generally happy with it. Not wanting to get to personal but it is sex that worries me now. I have experienced an erection which was a little sore but ok. Still too nervous for full sex.

I would be interested to know anyone's experience on this point.


nheather profile image
nheather in reply to jaglad

Mine was only 4 weeks ago. If your was 2-3 after mine it then it would have only been 1-2 weeks ago. If that is true then it sounds like you are healing much better and faster than I am.

Yes I am aware of bio-oil. Was advised that I shouldn't use it until the scar has formed and properly sealed. Don't think mine is quite at that stage yet.

One difference might be that the way the doctor chose to do mine is quite unusual. Normally the incision would be made about an inch below the glans, so you would get a neat circle around the shaft. But in my case the doctor chose to make the incision just under the glans - so it tries to flow the glans rather than a neat circle, and I fear that being so close to the glans made it more difficult to neatly stitch which is why I have ended up with ridged scars rather than flat ones.

It also means that he has left quite a bit of foreskin intact which looks rather stupid because it is neither circumcised nor uncircumcised. Probably okay when erect but looks silly when flaccid.

6big profile image
6big in reply to nheather

Reading through these post's I came across yours and am experiencing the same type of thing

See my post of 2 days ago

I had the Circ on the 26/1/17 for medical reasons and had my referred Urologist and another one perform the op while having it done and listening to the conversation I did have cause to ask if he was practicing on me to be told not to worry I am stepping in when needed

Needless to say I end up with a infection on day 7 bad enough to warrant doc sending me back as emergency admission as the wound had opened up and in her words was Gaping.I was told nothing can be done until the infection is dealt with and put on 2 weeks of penicillin but I can see already that my scar line is going to be all over the place

I was given a low and loose circ which is not what I expected at all considering my main reason for having one in the 1st place was re-accuring yeast infections leading to me getting Balanitis and Paraphomosis the loose cut means that my gland is still 3 parts covered and in my eyes still able to harbour the yeast problems that started everything off in the 1st place

Yea it looks like our Ops where quite close together. So far I am happy with the healing process and the stitches look quite neat.

I know what you mean about how it looks when flaccid, particularly when cold ! I put this down to just not being familiar with it. Time as they say is a great healer.

Best Wishes

nheather profile image
nheather in reply to jaglad

How far down the shaft did they do your cut. Mine is just under the glans. They left quite a lot of foreskin in place. So when flaccid, the foreskin isn't long enough to cover the glans fully so the tip of the glans is peeping out. Looks stupid. With the cut location and the messy stitches it looks a real bodge. Looks like something of one of those "I went abroad to have plastic surgery because it was so much cheaper" TV programmes.



The cut is directly under the glands and is a neat circle. When flaccid the stitches cannot be seen but the whole glans are visible. This is what I expected.

The skin does look odd when flaccid but when erect appears ok.

Hi Nigel

Do you have an update a Year on? I’ve just been circumcised and your experience and scaring matches mine exactly! I’m interested to know where you’re at now with more time since the operation.

Many thanks

Hey had a circumcision almost 2 weeks ago, and nigel description is similar to mine as well as to yours... have you found any information or solution about it ???

The Dr said the lumpy scars should settle and that the foreskin sitting over the glands when flaccid might not look great but it’s important so the size of your ‘1A.M Penis’ as he called it stays the same as before. I’m now 6 weeks post op and I’m getting used to it and it’s a lot less sore and sensitive than it was 4 weeks ago.. I feel with time it will just feel like the norm.

Nigel, how is the scar now? I was circumcised in early October, so around 18 weeks now.

My scar is about 1.5 cm behind the glans. Although it's quite flat on the topside and underside, on either side (particularly the left) it isn't the same. On the right, on the side of the scar closest to the glans, there's not so much a ridge but a small area which always looks red and a little swollen, when compared to what's around it. On the left hand side, it's generally the same but there are about 3 of these red and swollen areas in a line.

I wouldn't say that these areas are painful but they are more sensitive than the rest. After being stimulated, they are certainly redder and more puffy looking than the rest of the penis.

I too had lumps on the shaft below the scar. My GP said that it was scar tissue (which I couldn't understand) and said it would be permanent. Needless to say, it's now gone without trace!

I just wonder whether it's all part of the overall healing process and will settle with time, or whether I should be seeing the urologist again, to get the opinion of someone more familiar with it than my GP.

Another thing, unrelated to the scar and which completely baffles me is that, overall, my erect penis is now around 2 cm shorter than before the op, when the foreskin was fully retracted. At the same time, the base is much thicker but only for around 3 cm from the base. At that point, on the upper side, I can feel like a crease in the shaft, going right across from left to right. When fully erect, if I press from the underside, it feels like a weakness there and will bend. It's weird! It's almost as though it was bent and damaged during the operation, in the same way an empty drinks can would buckle inwards if bent. Added to that, when I'm really, really stiff, that same area aches quite a bit. I'm assuming that it would have been in that area that the nerve block injection would have been given.

I know that it's just not possible but it's as though the erect penis has been pushed down from the glans, in towards the body and has bunched up on the upper side near the root, creasing in the process. Stupid I know but it's the only way I can think of to describe it.

It still works OK but I do think it's more bendy (even when stiff) than before.

The urologist I've been seeing on and off for a few years (no future visits planned) is not the one who did the operation.

I'm just a bit concerned that to properly explain to him, or anyone else, I'd need to be erect, which would be awkward, to say the least. When flaccid, the issue just can't be seen.

Not sure what to do next.


I am relieved to read that I am not the only one with the uneven cirmumcision worry. I have had full circumcision surgery exactly a month ago and the scar has only healed 1/3 of the whole, that part looks nice and smooth but the rest of it is bumpy, swallen and looks messy. I've been a naughty boy though, I started masturbating again 2 weeks after the op, not sure if that had any effect... Another bugging thing is that I still have a scab below the frenulum. I am positive that the whole thing will fully heal within the next few months.

how r u now bro?

hows ur scar?

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