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Day surgery: circumcision orchidopexy and hernia repair discharge care

  • This information is for children who have had a circumcision in a day operation at the hospital.

    Eating and drinking

    • After the anaesthetic, your child can start eating a light diet such as sandwiches, pasta, soup or jelly. Avoid fatty or junk food.
    • For babies: breastfeed or give formula feeds as usual.

    Nausea and vomiting

    • Do not worry if your child feels sick or vomits once or twice after leaving the hospital.
    • If they vomit or feel sick, stop giving food for about one hour. Then try a light diet if your child can manage it without feeling ill.
    • If your child keeps vomiting, please call your child's surgeon or your nearest hospital emergency department.

    At home care

    • If your child has a dressing leave it in place until the review appointment, or take it off as told by your child's surgeon.
    • Stitches are dissolvable so they do not need to be taken out.
    • The penis may be swollen and can look bruised for up to a week.
    • It may be several weeks before it is completely healed.
    • Having a slight clear ooze is normal for the first two days.
    • If there is bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure to the tip of the penis for 10 minutes, using gauze or a clean cloth.
    • Your surgeon may recommend you apply some protective ointment such as zinc and castor oil cream or Vaseline to your son's penis.  This will help prevent the penis from sticking to underwear or a nappy.
    • For the first two days after the circumcision, you can give your child a sponge bath or shower.  Do not put them in the bath.  After two days you can bath your child as usual.
    • For babies, change their nappies regularly so the penis stays dry.
    • Because your child has had anaesthetic, they should rest for the next 24 hours with an adult taking care of them.
    • Your child may be unsteady on their feet for four to six hours after the anaesthetic.
    • They will need an adult to support them when they walk, even for short trips such as going to the toilet.


    • Your child should continue to rest at home for one to two days.
    • The surgeon will recommend when your child should return to school.
    • Your child should avoid contact sports or bike riding for one to two weeks.

    Go to your nearest emergency department if:

    • The bleeding does not stop.
    • There is extreme swelling to penis.
    • There is any change to the colour of the penis.

    Pain relief

    • Paracetamol can be given at home every four to six hours for one to two days if needed. Read the packaging for the correct dose for your child according to their age. Ask for help if you are unsure. Do not give any medicine with paracetamol in it more than four times in 24 hours.
    • For more severe pain call your child's surgeon or see your family doctor.


    • Please arrange a follow-up appointment as discussed with your child's surgeon, otherwise an outpatient appointment will be posted to you in the week after your child's circumcision.
    • Contact your surgeon if you have any questions or concerns about your child's care at home.

    Contact details

    The name of your child's surgeon is:


    More information

    • The Royal Children's Hospital
      T: (03) 9345 5522 (24hrs)
      Ask switchboard to page the on-call general surgery registrar if you are concerned about your child.
    • Surgery Centre
      Monday to Friday (7am - 7pm)
      T: (03) 9345 6570


    Developed by the RCH Surgery Centre. First published: November 2010. Updated January 2012.


This information is intended to support, not replace, discussion with your doctor or healthcare professionals. The authors of these consumer health information handouts have made a considerable effort to ensure the information is accurate, up to date and easy to understand. The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in these handouts. Information contained in the handouts is updated regularly and therefore you should always check you are referring to the most recent version of the handout. The onus is on you, the user, to ensure that you have downloaded the most up-to-date version of a consumer health information handout.