Childhood circumcision in Northern Ireland: a barometer of the current practice of general paediatric surgery

H Groves, A Bailie, W McCallion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Studies undertaken in England and Scotland have identified a decrease in the number of circumcision operations being performed during childhood. The aims of this study were two-fold. Firstly, to determine the trend in circumcision operations performed in boys in Northern Ireland over a ten year period. Secondly, to compare the number of operations performed by paediatric surgeons with the number performed by general surgeons over the same period.

METHOD: Data were collected from the Northern Ireland Department of Health and Social Services and Public Safety. A retrospective analysis was conducted of the number of circumcisions performed in boys aged between 0 and 13 years for the year beginning 1(st) September 1991 to the 1(st) of September 1992 and for the year beginning 1(st) September 2001 until the 1(st) of September 2002.

RESULTS: 769 circumcisions were performed in the year 1991 to 1992 compared with 264 in the year 2001 to 2002, representing a 66% decrease. In the ten year study period, the number of circumcisions performed by general surgeons fell by 71% whilst specialist paediatric surgeons performed 56% less.

CONCLUSIONS: The decrease in rates of circumcision in boys aged 0 to 13 years in Northern Ireland is consistent with trends in the remainder of the United Kingdom. The results also suggest a greater decrease in the proportion of circumcisions being performed by general surgeons in district general hospitals compared to those performed by paediatric surgeons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-1
Number of pages2
JournalThe Ulster Medical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Circumcision, Male/statistics & numerical data
  • General Surgery/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Northern Ireland
  • Pediatrics/statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies


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