As a new parent of a baby boy, or as an adult seeking an adult circumcision procedure, you may be researching potential circumcision providers. The list of questions below may be a helpful guide in that process.
Questions About Circumcision Fees
You will need to know what the specific costs of the procedure, and how much your insurance or Medicare will cover. This information may not all be available from the circumcision provider, but they will be able to speak about their fees and expected Medicare rebate amounts.
Specific questions about circumcision costs might include:
- Does the quoted fee include the initial consultation, or is there a gap fee for that?
- Are there any bed or hospital fees?
- What gap fees are there for the surgeon (even if you have private health insurance)?
- Are there anaesthetist fees?
- What about charges for follow up visits?
Medicare rebates for circumcision
The rebate will depend on the anaesthesia and surgical techniques applied, so perhaps surprisingly there can be significant variation in the rebate amount for circumcision. You can have a higher out-to-pocket cost, even with a lower total price, if the methods used result in a lower Medicare payment. So some specific questions will be:
- What is the Medicare rebate that will apply?
- What is the net out-of-pocket cost?
Questions About the Circumcision Provider
Like with any procedure, you can minimize the risks by choosing a healthcare provider who is thoroughly trained and experienced in doing the procedure. You may ask the healthcare provider about his or her experience with the procedure being done, including the number of times he or she has done it, and his or her record of successes, as well as complications.
Specific questions about the doctor might include:
- What specific circumcision training does the doctor have?
- Do you perform this operation regularly?
- What is your success rate, and how often do your patients experience any problems?
- What are the most common complications or issues?
What is the waiting time?
Your choice of provider may be influenced by the timing of the procedure, so questions will include:
- When will the procedure be done?
- How long will you have to wait, and is the delay acceptable?
Questions About the Circumcision Method & Recovery
You will want to be fully informed on the details of the procedure, steps to follow before and after the circumcision, and how to manage the most common post-procedure issues. Check the provider’s website for this detail and ask some of these questions.
Procedural questions might include:
- Where will the circumcision procedure be performed?
- What techniques and tools will be used? There are several common circumcision methods and you will want to understand which one is proposed.
- What type of anaesthesia will be administered? Your healthcare provider should tell you whether a local, regional, or general anaesthesia will be given and why this type of anaesthesia is recommended for your procedure. Some providers do not use any anaesthetic, which you may or may not agree with.
You will also want to know what to expect after the circumcision:
- Ask your healthcare provider what to expect in the first few days following the procedure, as well as in the weeks and months that follow.
- You need to know how long special care may be required and what limitations will be placed on you, or your son.
- Ask if there are special supplies or equipment you will need when discharged, and if these will be provided, or not.
You should also ask about the typical length of time it takes for a full recovery. Knowing ahead of time what to expect will help you to cope and recover more quickly following the surgery.