CIRCUMCISION: THE DIFFERENT TYPES
You already know what circumcision is, but maybe you still don't know that not all circumcisions are the same. And that, in the vast majority of cases, you do have the right to ask your doctor for a specific type or style.
In broad terms, a circumcision can be "tighter" (when more tissue is removed, leaving the remaining skin under strain, specially during erections) or "looser" (when less skin is removed).
Also, the penis may end up with a "higher" or "lower" scar line. In order to understand what this means it's useful to revisit the penile anatomy:
Examining the longitudinal cross-section of the intact penis, it can be seen that the internal and external skins are separate entities, and not opposite sides of a single layer of tissue. They are not bounded together, and can therefore move in relation to one another.
It's therefore possible to remove different quantities of each of them, and that will determine where the scar will be located in relation to the glans (don't worry, this will be clearer after the next diagrams).
In other words, high/low is a way of expressing what is removed, and loose/tight a measure of how much is removed. These variables are almost completely independent between each other, so that the 4 types illustrated below can be defined (bear in mind that few circumcisions will actually look exactly like these diagrams, as they tend to slightly exaggerate some traits in order to make them more visible):
1 - LOW AND LOOSE CIRCUMCISION
Almost all of the internal skin is removed, along with a similar quantity of external skin. Since no tension is imposed to the shaft skin, the flaccid penis ends up as loose as before the procedure, and a bit of skin accumulates over the sulcus (as long as there is no erection).
2 - LOW AND TIGHT CIRCUMCISION
The maximum possible amount of internal skin is removed together with all of the external skin, plus a considerable portion of the shaft skin. This strains the remaining shaft skin and the base of the glans, keeping the sulcus always exposed. In more extreme cases (when too much skin is amputated) the flaccid penis may end up appearing slightly shorter than before the procedure, but the elasticity of the skin will allow the development of its full length when erect.
3 - HIGH AND LOOSE CIRCUMCISION
A good part of the internal skin is preserved, turned inside-out in order to play the role of shaft skin. All of the external skin is removed along with some shaft tissue, but not enough to generate tension, so that a bit a skin accumulates over the sulcus when the penis is flaccid.
4 - HIGH AND TIGHT CIRCUMCISION
Most of the internal skin is preserved, turned inside-out to play the role of shaft skin. All of the external skin is removed along with a lot of shaft skin. This puts the remaining shaft skin under considerable strain, completely exposing the sulcus. In more extreme cases (when too much skin is amputated) the flaccid penis may end up appearing slightly shorter than before the procedure, but the elasticity of the skin will allow the development of its full length when erect.
It's important to remember that most circumcisions end up falling somewhere in between these 4 basic types, but you should familiarize with them in order to be able to talk to your doctor about the end result before surgery.
When the circumcision is so loose that, besides the sulcus, part of the glans is also covered by the remaining foreskin, it's called a partial circumcision.