MEDICAL DECISION MAKING, Volume 11 Number 4: Pages 282-93,
Oct-Dec 1991.

Routine neonatal circumcision: a cost-utility analysis

Ganiats TG. Humphrey JB. Taras HL. Kaplan RM.

Department of Community and Family Medicine,
University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, La Jolla 92093-0807.

Country of Publication
United States


A cost-utility analysis was performed to evaluate the relative importance of each of the various elements in the current circumcision debate. Elements used in the analysis included the cost of the procedure, the pain associated with the procedure, the risk of urinary tract infections, and the risk of penile cancer. The net, discounted lifetime dollar cost of routine circumcision is $102 per person, while the net, discounted lifetime health cost is 14 hours of healthy life. These results suggest that the financial and medical advantages and disadvantages of routine neonatal circumcision cancel each other and that factors other than cost or health outcomes must be used in decision making.

(Revised 11 November 2004)

Return to CIRP library