The stapler circumcision as an alternative

Editor’s brief: Many know about traditional circumcision methods, although there may be risks for older patients. There is an alternative, known as “stapler circumcision”, in Singapore. Read more below.

SINGAPORE – Leading regional GP+ group DTAP Clinic announces the launch of the new stapler circumcision at its Somerset Clinic, with a revolutionary circumcision device that shortens the procedure duration down to 5 minutes instead of the usual 45 minutes or 1 hour via conventional circumcision methods.

Percentage of circumcised males in Singapore

According to the Ministry of Health, 1,921 adult and child male circumcisions were carried out in 2017. This number does not include those done in private hospitals, clinics or by non-medical personnel. Around one-fifth of these procedures were done for non-religious reasons. In 2017, it was reported that the National University Hospital saw a 28 percent increase in circumcision procedures in the last three years.

Stapler Circumcision

This method is recommended for males aged 16 years and above. Comparing with traditional circumcision methods, the stapler method offers patients with benefits of no sutures, no injections, short procedure time (around 5 minutes), minimal bleeding, frenulum preservation, very low risk of complications, excellent cosmetics, and a generally high satisfaction rate.

Before the procedure, numbing cream is applied on the foreskin for 30 minutes.

The Stapler device is made up of two components. The outer and the inner bell. The inner bell is designed to protect the glans. The outer bell comprises a circular blade to cut the foreskin and staples to close the wound for simultaneous hemostasis.

First, the inner bell is placed inside the foreskin to cover the glans, and the outer bell is placed over the inner bell. Once secured tightly, the handles are triggered to cut the foreskin and the wound is closed by staples at the same time. The device is then unscrewed and removed.  A bandage will be applied for 3 to 4 days.

The staples will drop out on their own by the second week. The patient will visit the physician for a follow-up review.

Risks & Recovery

Like any surgical procedure, circumcision also comes with its own risks. Potential risks include bleeding, pain, injury to the penis, wound dehiscence and hematoma formation. However, these risks are low and are manageable.

Right after the circumcision, the patient is able to walk normally, with no need for hospitalization. However, patients are advised only to start exercise, masturbation, or sexual intercourse 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure.

Most males will experience some degree of discomfort the first 5 to 7 days after the procedure, caused by the raw glans of the penis and possibly nocturnal erections. The circumcised penis will heal between 2 to 4 weeks after surgery.

Patients should consult with their doctor on the suitability for this procedure beforehand. If suitable, they can schedule an appointment for the procedure, and a medical review thereafter.

The new stapler circumcision method is available at DTAP Clinic at Somerset.

Addendum: FAQs

What is circumcision

Circumcision is a surgical procedure that involves partial or complete removal of the foreskin, are usually performed on infants shortly after birth or around puberty. It is performed if there is phimosis (tight foreskin opening), recurrent foreskin infections and for religious reasons. After circumcision, the glans penis (head of the penis) will remain exposed permanently.

Reasons for circumcisions

There are various reasons for males to undergo circumcisions. One of the main reason for boys to get circumcised is a condition known as phimosis, where the foreskin becomes too tight and is unable to retract fully. The tight prepucial opening traps urine between the glans penis and the inner prepuce and this can lead to recurrent infections of the prepuce and glans penis – balanoposthitis (inflammation of the glans, the rounded head of the penis). This may cause pain during sexual intercourse and may also give rise to infections and poor hygiene. Other reasons includes genital hygiene, inability to retract the foreskin completely, redness and swelling of the foreskin intermittently, pain or crying when passing urine.

Benefits of circumcision

The benefits of circumcision include prevention of balanitis, better hygiene, reduced risk of HIV and other STDs, fewer risk of urinary tract infection, prevention of phimosis (inability to retract foreskin) and paraphimosis (foreskin retracted and unable to return to original position).

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