Baby boys, young boys and teenagers, can have a unique set of urological challenges that generally have no lasting effects if treated early. Here, we address some of the most common questions the Urology Clinic hears from parents.
- Should my baby be circumcised?
Circumcision is a personal family decision, and it is generally not medically necessary. In rare cases, circumcision is recommended by your medical team to prevent certain infections. However, this is the exception, not the rule. Decades ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believed that circumcision reduced the risk of penile cancer. More current evidence finds no link between circumcision and cancer. Parents may elect circumcision for cosmetic, cultural or personal preferences.
- Should I use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on his circumcision? If so, for how long?
You should generously coat the healing area with most boys to prevent the penis from sticking to a diaper. But you should follow the recommendations given by your provider performing the circumcision. Different techniques may require different care.
- What are undescended testicles? Should I worry?
After birth, 2-to-3 percent of boys will have one testicle not located in the scrotum. This is considered an undescended testicle. The final descent of the testicle may take up to six months after birth but usually occurs within three months of birth. If you are concerned that one or both testicles are not present in the scrotum, you should have your child evaluated by the Urology Clinic.
- How do I check my baby’s testicles at home?
Checking your baby's testicles can be difficult to do at home. You may be able to visualize the testicles present in the scrotum during a bath or shower when the patient is relaxed. However, if there is any concern that a testicle may not be present, evaluation by either the child's physician or the Urology Clinic is recommended.
- How do I safely clean my baby boy’s genitals?
Male genitalia can be cleaned with soap and water during bathing, just like any other part of the body. Cleaning does not differ between circumcised or uncircumcised penises. Keep in mind that uncircumcised foreskin should never be forcibly retracted.
- What do I do about skin adhesions?
Simple penile skin adhesions can be left alone as they often cause no harm or discomfort and often separate on their own over time. However, if there is a concern with the appearance of adhesions, we recommend evaluation by the child's physician or the Urology Clinic.
- Why are his genitals swollen?
If you are concerned that your child's genitalia appears swollen, we recommend evaluation by your physician. If the swelling is associated with sudden, severe pain, then it is recommended that you seek immediate medical attention.
- How do I know if he’s in pain?
It can be difficult to assess pain, especially in infants. If you are concerned that your child has pain associated with his genitalia, considering speaking to his physician. Most medical emergencies involving the male genitalia will manifest with severe pain and visible changes to the area's appearance. If you believe this is occurring, seek medical attention.
About Arkansas Children’s Urology Clinic
Each year Arkansas Children’s Urology Clinic cares for children through more than 7,500 visits for urologic treatment. We are the only hospital in Arkansas with three surgeons trained to use the da Vinci Surgical Robot for pediatric urology procedures. This means more children can recover from urologic surgeries with less pain, shorter recovery times and minimal scarring.
Arkansas Children's Urology Clinic treats issues primarily seen in the pediatric population - such as hypospadias, circumcisions, undescended testicles and urinary accidents. We offer Telehealth visits in the Springdale, Jonesboro, Texarkana, and Fort Smith areas.
We have dedicated pediatric anesthesiologists trained in delivering exactly the pain control your child needs. Our specialized equipment offers children a more comfortable experience, from clinical exams to surgical suite and home care. And ongoing research means our pediatric urologists are at the forefront of developments that will give each child the best chances for better urologic function.