Will NHS waiting times affect those waiting for circumcision?

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With continuing industrial action, the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and an ageing population, waiting times within the NHS are getting worse.

This means that men needing therapeutic circumcisions can be left waiting months for treatment despite dealing with painful symptoms.

As a result, many men are now searching for alternatives to circumvent the potential 32 weeks of waiting and restore their penile function and self-confidence in a matter of months.

 So why are so many men now opting for circumcisions in private hospitals? Read on to find out more.

Who might need circumcision?

Men who consider circumcision generally fall into one of two camps: the medically necessary and the cosmetic.

Medically necessary circumcision

Also referred to as therapeutic circumcisions, men who require circumcision for medical reasons will have been advised by doctors and may have conditions such as:

  • Penile cancers
  • Difficulty retracting the foreskin, called phimosis.
  • Recurrent infections, called balanitis.
  • Inability to return the foreskin to its original position after being pulled back, a complication of phimosis.
  • Balanitis xerotica obliterans, a condition which includes phimosis symptoms and additional scarring/ inflammation on the head of the penis.
  • Paraphimosis, a urologic emergency in which the foreskin becomes trapped behind the corona of the glans penis.

Cosmetic circumcisions

Men who opt for circumcisions for cosmetic reasons, on the other hand, have not been advised by a medical professional that they need it, they simply chose the procedure because it is their preference.

Reasons include:

  • They prefer the appearance of a circumcised penis
  • Reduced sensitivity in the penis head may result in a longer sexual performance
  • Religious reasons, including later-stage religious conversion
  • A belief that circumcised penises are more hygienic

While medically necessary circumcisions are routinely carried out on the NHS, cosmetic, non-therapeutic, circumcisions are not, so must always be performed by private healthcare providers.

No matter the reason for the circumcision, the procedure is much the same and can be carried out in as little as an hour.

Are waiting times for circumcision on the rise in the NHS?

Non-therapeutic circumcisions have greater flexibility in terms of when they are carried out because they are provided by private hospitals. As such, their chosen provider’s availability will dictate the timeline for these surgeries.

Waiting times for circumcisions for therapeutic cases on the NHS, however, are dictated by a number of factors, including the severity of the condition, your location in the UK, and general waiting times.

The severity of your condition

Unless penile cancer or paraphimosis is diagnosed, even medically necessary circumcisions will incur delays.

Sadly, even minor to moderate pain does not make the case urgent, so uncomfortable patients are still likely to encounter delays.

Your location in the UK

Many patients still experience the postcode lottery of treatment across the UK, resulting in yet more delays, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).  

This means that in areas of lower socio-economic status, patients may find themselves waiting longer for essential treatment versus patients in more affluent areas.

Ever-growing NHS waiting lists

While traditionally the NHS waiting list for male circumcision is said to vary between 8- 32 weeks, these timelines are unlikely to be met when the NHS is overwhelmed, as it is now.

National delays such as industrial action, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and an ageing population, have increased setbacks by 57.4% as reported by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the NHS Performance Analysis Team.  This increase is compared to pre-Covid data from February 2020.

Does private treatment rapidly reduce waiting times for those needing to be circumcised?

Already accessed by men looking for non-therapeutic circumcision, private treatment is the simplest and easiest way for men looking for medically necessary circumcisions to receive their care- without a long wait.  

With increased flexibility for scheduling consultations and procedures in both evenings and weekends, you are likely to find an appointment time that fits your schedule better and experience care much faster.

Similarly, our range of finance options makes private treatment achievable for all.

Not only is treatment in the UK much more convenient, but it removes the extra costs and risks associated with botched cosmetic tourism, which according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), has seen a 44% increase since 2021.

As such then, it is highly encouraged to use a UK-based, expert uro/andrologist to carry out your circumcision safely. These surgeons are experienced and work to the highest standard, using the latest techniques and materials to achieve aesthetic and functional improvements.  

Moreover, if patients experience any emergency re-admission, the Moorgate Guarantee ensures you will not incur any of the following costs needed to make it right, giving you extra piece of mind.

Contact Moorgate Andrology for help with circumcision

As experts in specialist andrological procedures, Moorgate Andrology has focussed on always providing the best for its patients, no matter which procedure they opt for, from circumcision to frenuloplasty, penis enlargement to Peyronie’s Disease treatment.

At Moorgate, you will find all the help and support you need to complete your circumcision surgery. From GMC Specialist registered, experienced Urology surgeons to pioneering techniques.

So, if you are currently on an NHS waiting list for treatment, why not come to see us today for a free Urologist Consultation? Simply find your nearest location and reach out to us today.

For more information about our work in circumcision, you can also email or call us to discuss your circumstances in more detail.

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