Removal of the prepuce or foreskin covering the penis. There has been a lot of controversy about this procedure in the past few years. Some believe that it is medically beneficial while others disagree. There are repeated studies showing that urinary tract infections are less common in circumcised boys. However, urinary tract infections are relatively rare in boys anyway. There have also been studies of sexual function in circumcised and uncircumcised males with very few differences found between the two groups. In some populations, circumcision reduces the risk of contracting AIDS. Penile cancer (also a very rare disease) is also less common among circumcised men.
When all costs and data were reviewed, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommended against circumcision except in response to parents' personal preference. Some insurers no longer cover the costs of circumcision. There are risks to the procedure. Parents should review these with the doctor. Appropriate anesthesia should also be used. There is good evidence that circumcision without anesthesia is not in the baby's best interest.