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Complications of Self-circumcision: A Case Report and Proposal


Alessandro Natali, MD, Department of Urology, University of Florence, Uro-Andrological Unit, Viale Pieraccini 18, 50139 Florence, Italy. Tel: (39) 055-417645; Fax: +39 055-4377755; E-mail:


Introduction.  Male circumcision is a common surgical technique that has been performed worldwide for thousands of years for medical, social, cultural, and religious reasons. It is usually conducted in childhood in a clinical setting, but the practice of adult self-circumcision has led to a market for nonmedically approved self-circumcision devices that can be purchased via the Internet.

Aims.  The aims of this report are to report the case of a 30-year-old white man who suffered complications after trying to perform a self-circumcision with a nonmedically approved device purchased via the Internet, and to propose that urologists should take the lead in investigating the problem of male self-circumcision.

Methods.  This case report documents the presentation and treatment of an attempted self-circumcision.

Results.  The attempted self-circumcision was carried out without local anaesthetic and resulted in an incision in the foreskin. The patient presented with uncontrollable local bleeding 2 days after carrying out the procedure. Although questioned as to why he had attempted self-circumcision, the patient was reluctant and/or unable to explain his reasons. Daily local wound care and topical antibiotics resulted in complete wound healing after 2 months, and a clinical clamp circumcision was conducted to treat the remaining severe phimosis.

Conclusion.  Data on the prevalence and outcomes associated with the use of self-circumcision devices are few. The clinicians who treat the complications are best placed to collect data on self-circumcision and should publish case studies. Eventually there may be sufficient understanding of the sector of the population at risk from this practice to educate those likely to attempt self-circumcision, and enough evidence of harm for controls to be placed on the sale of these nonmedically approved devices via the Internet. Natali A, and Rossetti MA. Complications of self-circumcision: A case report and proposal. J Sex Med **;**:**–**.