Post-Circumcision Recovery - Help!

Hi everyone, first post here:

I am 37 and was circumcised 5 days ago (due to BXO & Paraphimosis), and would like some help from those who have been through it. I realise that it would be quicker for me to phone the Doc for an appointment than to type all this on an internet forum, but I'll probably go and get checked over anyway and was just hoping for some advice & reassurance from men who've been there too and don't mind reading the grizzly details!

I don't need to go into detail about the op itself, and the care on the day was excellent, but when I was discharged, I wasn't give any info at all relating to the recovery process. No information sheet, nothing about if I'd need a follow up appointment, no contact number in case or problems, no medication ie painkillers / anti-inflammatories (just some spae dressings), I just walked out of the hospital like John Wayne with little to no idea of what to expect during recovery, other than some info on the sheet given at the pre-op. This sheet itself says that when discharged, I would be given advice about recovery at home and given a 'draft discharge summary'. I received neither. I didn't even think to ask as I left, with all that had just happened to me! Do I presume they forgot and chase this up, or presume it has gone straight through to the GP?

Anyway, I took the last dressing off after the 2nd full day with it on, it really is a horrible place to have a dressing as it inevitably gets wee on it and pubes caught in it. I wish I'd thought to shave first, perhaps they should advise this on the pre-op info sheet as its a lot harder trying to remove stray hairs afterwards!

So, 5 days on and the swelling is going down very slowly. Well, at least its not the shocking red/purple/black colour anymore, just still quite puffy under the incision. There is still lots of gunk around the base of the glans - dried blood, a kind of yellow film and just general gunk. I have tried to gently remove this in the bath but am scared to touch it at all really, in case I disturb the stitches. I am not even sure about taking baths as I've read conflicting advice - some say not to bathe for a couple of weeks, others say you can after a couple of days, some say to put salt in the water, and I also heard from a Nurse my wife knows that if you do bathe, only stay in for a short time as you don't want the stitches to come out too soon, so don't soak!

Its the stitches that seem to cause all the problems, really , so I'm kind of despairing that they could take 2 more weeks to dissolve. I feel what i can only describe as 'pressure', where the shaft meets the stitches, with most things I do. Sitting on the toilet, trying to lift myself out the bath, walking, bending over, sitting upright (such as when eating) and lying on my side. I am pretty much just lying down flat or sitting reclined with my lower half horizontal, all the time, otherwise I feel this pressure / pain. The glans feels ultra sensitive now being exposed, I knew this would take some adjusting to, but its even weirder than I thought. Again I think its the presence of the stitches that are bugging me, not just the fact the glans is exposed, as I can feel the stitching against my underwear, which is horrible. Sorry for the gory details but I've had the stitches bleed twice when trying to push a turd out, they feel horrid against my clothes and prevent me washing the gunk away, and so I can't wait for them to be gone. To top it off, I woke up with morning wood today, which really hurt , and I couldn't get it down quick enough!

I was really down last night and wishing I hadn't had it done at all. Its amazing how much you take for granted normal everyday things like driving, and walking to the corner shop, when you are pretty much housebound. I can't even say not being able to have sex or have a wank is bothering me that much, I just want to feel normal again, be able to do basic things & not have my cock looking so horrific. I enjoy sport and I've been told roughy 4 weeks before I can do any, which is tough for me. They say you can drive & return to work as soon as you're ready but I don't feel i'll be doing either for at least another week. There seems to be a psychological pain you go through with this as well, hard to explain but it seems to impact your life in numerous ways. I can only hope that in time the healing takes place and I can enjoy life once more & not feel like I regret the decision to have it done.

So i guess the questions are:

Will the GP ask to see me for a follow-up or do I instigate this if I feel I need to be checked over?

Does my experience /state of healing at 5 days seem normal?

How long before the feeling of pressure disappears?

How long did your stitches take to dissolve?

Am I doing the right thing taking short saltwater baths?

When will the 'gunk' start to disappear?

Which medications did you take?

Thanks to all who had the patience to read through this and offer replies!

4 Replies

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  • Doesn't sound like anything worrying to me. All pretty average I think. Yes good to do daily bathing with salt water. Discharge should steadily settle over a further week or so, but increasing swelling, discharge or temperature requires a doctor review.

    No need for routine review unless you feel there is a problem

    This is a leaflet

    guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/reso...

  • Sounds like you have had a lot to contend with.

    I had my circumcision about eight weeks ago due to Zoons Ballantitis and possible cancer risk. Like you I was given little follow up information, but I did receive a leaflet with a phone number. My swelling was gone by day two and I took short daily baths using baby bath soap. Stitches did appear to come out during the bath so I kept them short then started taking showers but keeping heavy spray away from the area. It was probably about two weeks before all the stitches came out and regular cleaning kept 'gunk' at bay, though this can be easier said than done given how painful the wound was. I did try and refrain from going the toilet until I was desperate to avoid pushing or straining, and wearing tight pants at night helped keep everything in place. My wife wore the most unsexy pyjamas possible but any sign of an erection and I was sore.

    I took co-codamol at first then Paracetamol and Ibuprofen. I have to say it can still be quite sore now but infrequent and bearable. Sex after about six weeks was a nervous affair and a little sore but the climax was amazing, so worth it. Sex still not regular but we trying.

    My Doc just say it a very sensitive area so healing takes time but everything looks fine. I still cannot get used to how it looks.

    I would advise to see GP if you unsure and call Hosp' to check on follow up appointment.

    Good Luck

  • I'm not a doctor so can't say if this is normal or not. But if you are experiencing far worse after-effects than you were warned of in advance, then that is a concern and certainly something to discuss with your health-care providers. If it IS normal and you weren't told, they need to know it's not acceptable and if it ISN'T normal they can act.

    Certainly, some doctors will tell you that circumcisions are carried out too readily and without always fully arming the patient with the alternatives.

    Good luck and let us know how things develop. Are you in the UK?

  • Thanks for the replies so far and for the NHS leaflet. Not sure why I wasn't given something like this. I will contact the GP in the coming days and ask if my paperwork has come through to them yet and just get them to check me out. Chances are there is nothing wrong and I just have to be patient as the Op was still only 6 days ago. Very painful night time erections last night, I was too scared to look as I knew it'd probably be making the stitches bleed, I just waited for them to go down and then went for a wee. Apparently not drinking late at night helps with this.

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