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Can Urol Assoc J. 2019 Apr;13(4):E108-E112. doi: 10.5489/cuaj.5460. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Assessment of risk factors for surgical complications in neonatal circumcision clinic.

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Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
Division of Urology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.
Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
School of Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Republic of Ireland.



Despite the widespread use of circumcision, there is little understanding regarding risk factors associated with its complications. This investigation assesses potential risk factors contributing to complications of circumcision.


A retrospective review of all males who underwent a neonatal circumcision in our institution's pediatric urology clinic between January 2015 and June 2017 was performed. Continuous variables were dichotomized to determine a clinically relevant cutoff value. Multivariate regression analyses were used to identify risk factors for primary outcomes (early/late complications) and secondary outcomes (emergency room [ER] visitation, return to operating room, post-circumcision communications).


A total of 277 patients were identified. The mean age and weight were 28.4 days and 4.3 kg, respectively; 93.1% of cases were elective and 12.3% of patients had comorbidities. Circumcisions were performed using Mogen (61.4%) or Gomco clamps (39.6%) under local anesthesia. Overall, 35 patients experienced complications (12.6%). There were 18 patients (6.5%) with bleeding requiring sutures at time of circumcision. Twenty-six patients (9.4%) experienced long-term complications, with penile adhesions being the majority (84.6%). One (0.4%) of these patients had a Clavien-Dindo 3 complication requiring surgery for a skin bridge that could not be separated. One patient (0.4%) visited the ER due to postoperative bleeding from the circumcised area, which was managed conservatively. Multivariate regression analysis identified weight >5.1 kg as a risk factor for bleeding requiring sutures (odds ratio [OR] 4.145; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.246-13.799) and long-term complications (OR 3.738; 95% CI 1.356-10.306). No risk factors were identified for other outcomes (return to operating room, ER visitation, post-circumcision email/telephone communications).


This investigation of neonatal circumcision revealed that patients weighing >5.1 kg may be at higher risk of bleeding and long-term complications, such as adhesions.

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