Caregiver Reported Reasons for Delay of Neonatal Circumcision

Deborah L. Jacobson, Anthony D'Oro, Fizan Abdullah, Katherine A. Barsness, Dennis B. Liu, Max Maizels, Ilina Rosoklija, Emilie K. Johnson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine caregiver-reported reasons for delay of desired neonatal circumcision. Methods: Caregivers requesting elective outpatient circumcision at two urban tertiary care hospitals were surveyed from 1/2017 to 12/2018. Boys >3 years and those with abnormal penile anatomy were excluded. Patient/parent demographics, insurance status, comorbidities, birth history, family history, reasons circumcision was desired, and reasons for circumcision delay were obtained. Results: Surveys were completed by 206/229 caregivers (90% response rate). Respondents were primarily mothers (74%) who identified as African-American (62%). Eligible boys presented at a median 7.5 months [0.3-35.6] and were predominantly African-American (63%), publicly-insured at birth (83%), and publicly-insured at present (86%). 80% were full-term. 83% had no comorbidities. Most caregivers (84%) requested inpatient circumcision, primarily for penile cleanliness (75%) and infection prevention (72%). Common reasons for delay included neonatal circumcision not being performed by the birth physician/hospital (26%) and prematurity (16%). Publicly-insured boys were more likely to encounter delays related birth physician/hospital not performing circumcisions (P = .02). Non-Caucasian/mixed race boys were less likely to be eligible for circumcision without general anesthesia (P = .004). In 108 cases (52%), circumcision was requested for full-term boys without comorbidities. Of these, 72 (35% of the cohort) now require general anesthesia to undergo circumcision. Conclusion: Among 206 boys experiencing circumcision delay, most were full-term, African-American, and publicly-insured. Common reasons for delay included neonatal circumcision not being performed by the birth hospital/physician and prematurity. General anesthesia could have been avoided in >35% of boys if circumcision was performed at birth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-149
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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