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J Urol. 1999 Apr;161(4):1301-3.

Postneonatal circumcision with local anesthesia: a cost-effective alternative.

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Section of Pediatric Urology, Columbus Children's Hospital, Ohio State University, USA.



Despite the controversy regarding the need for routine neonatal circumcision, most boys in the United States are circumcised. Physicians are commonly asked to perform circumcision after the neonatal period and are often unaware of the cost factors related to the timing and location of postneonatal circumcision.


We describe the medical and financial advantages of postneonatal circumcision with local versus general anesthesia.


During a 30-month period 245 boys 6 months to 15 years old underwent circumcision under general anesthesia in the operating room. Hospital charges (facility and equipment) averaged $1,555 and anesthesia charges averaged $250. Therefore, the average cost for circumcision in the operating room was $1,805. During the same time period 287 infants 3 days to 9 months old (20% older than 3 months) underwent circumcision under local anesthesia in an office setting. The facility and equipment charge for these office procedures averaged $196. Overall, approximately $461,783 were saved in this 30-month period ($184,713 annually) by performing circumcision with local anesthesia in an office setting rather then in the operating room with general anesthesia. There was no significant difference in complication rates between the local and general anesthesia groups (1.4 versus 1.6%).


Circumcision with local anesthesia can be performed easily and safely during the first several months of life and has many advantages. Parents prefer this method because it is more convenient and eliminates the risk of general anesthesia. The enormous cost savings using local as opposed to general anesthesia should prompt a reexamination of the location and timing of postneonatal circumcision.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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