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Blog Posts (14)

  • Ballooning foreskin?

    Are you worried that your son's foreskin is ballooning when he tries to pass urine? Well you're in the right place! In this post I will teach you about what ballooning means and how nearly all boy's foreskins will become retractable over time. Almost every boy is born with a foreskin that is non-retractile (physiological phimosis). It is normal, in young boys, for the inner surface of the foreskin to adhere to the head of the penis (the glans). The foreskin gradually becomes retractable due to a combination of intermittent erections (common in boys of all ages), and toughening (or keratinization) of the inner surface. Only 1% of 16-year-old boys will have non-retractile foreskins, compared with 10% at 3 years of age. Ballooning is one of the most common causes of worry for the parents that bring their boy's to see me in the clinic. In fact ballooning is another way that the foreskin becomes retractable - as it helps to loosen the adherent bits between the inner surface of the foreskin and the glans. As the foreskin becomes more retractable ballooning will settle. Is there anything that I can do to help my son's foreskin become retractable? I would not recommend that you try to pull your son's foreskin back for him. It is important to know that forceful retractions cause micro-tears and scarring that can actually make your son's phimosis (tight foreskin) even worse. Once your son is old enough to understand the principles (my two son's were about 4 or 5 before they were ready) he should be instructed how to gently retract his own foreskin. It is also really important to try to keep the inner surface of the foreskin as clean and dry as possible. This is easier said than done for a boy with a very tight foreskin. I suggest to all the boys that come to see me that they run the bath just before bedtime, do a wee and then clean the foreskin with soap and water in the bath just before bed. This ensures that the inner surface of the foreskin is clean and dry every night and will reduce the risk of infection or inflammation (such as balanitis). Is there any cream or other treatment available for my son's phimosis? Applying steroid cream to the inner prepuce twice daily for 6 weeks can help soften the skin and give your son the best chance of being able to retract his own foreskin. Using steroid cream for longer periods is not recommended as it then weakens the skin causing cracking and bleeding. What about surgery to treat my son's phimosis? Thankfully this is not commonly required. If there is white scarring of the prepuce then your son most likely has BXO and this requires a circumcision. If there is no BXO but he is either having painful erections, recurring balanitis or urinary tract infections then either a preputioplasty (procedure to widen the foreskin) or a circumcision can be considered. For more information on the procedures click here. If you think your son might need my help why not get in touch: you can email me directly at or simply call 02890667878 to book an appointment Until next time, take care of yourself and of your family. Best wishes

  • Camera test?

    Are you worried that your child might need endoscopy? Well….you’re in the right place! In this post I'm going to teach you what this means for your child, and how someone like me can sort it out for them. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (or OGD) is a way for me to assess the food-pipe, stomach, and first part of the small intestine in your child. It is useful for diagnosing conditions such as gastro-oesophageal reflux, inflammation (such as in allergic conditions like eosinophilic oesophagitis), Crohn’s disease, and Coeliac disease. If your child is having endoscopy to confirm Coeliac disease they should have at least 4-6 weeks of a gluten-rich diet (ideally to the point where their symptoms are becoming difficult to tolerate) prior to the procedure, as this will massively increase our chance of making the diagnosis on biopsy. I perform this procedure under general anaesthetic and it usually takes me around 10 minutes to complete. During the procedure I will pass a flexible telescope via your child’s mouth – let me know if they have any wobbly teeth! During the procedure I can take tiny samples (or biopsies) of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and can also take pictures and video to help discuss your child’s condition with you afterwards. Like in any operation there are small risks such as bleeding – but thankfully this is extremely rare and tends to settle on its own. Sometimes your child may have a sore throat or feel slightly bloated after the procedure. What I worry about is making a hole or a perforation. If your child develops severe abdominal pain, chest pain, breathlessness or temperatures after the procedure this is NOT normal and you should bring them to A&E immediately. This is vanishingly rare (about 1:2000). Following the procedure, I would expect your child to eat and drink and go home the same day. I will write to you as soon as I receive the results of the biopsies and let you know what else needs to be done based on these results. So, if you think your child might need endoscopy – why not get in touch? You can email me directly at or call 028 9066 7878 to book an appointment Until next time, take care of yourself and your family. Procedure information leaflet

  • Worried about your child's lump?

    Are you worried about a lump that your child has developed? Well….you’re in the right place! In this post I’m going to teach you what this means for your child, and how someone like me can fix it for them. Children develop a wide variety of lumps and bumps and these can often cause a great deal of concern for families. Thankfully most lumps in children are entirely benign, but it is worth taking all of them seriously because sadly children can very occasionally develop more sinister tumours. I take each child’s lump on its merits and can usually make a diagnosis at the first clinical assessment. Occasionally further investigations such as scans are required. Sometimes I will need to remove your child’s lump to confirm the diagnosis – or even when the diagnosis is not in question but to prevent any future complications (such as bleeding, infection, or the lesion just getting bigger). I perform the procedure under general anaesthetic and for most lumps it takes less than 1 hour to complete. I give local anaesthetic to the area before the end of the procedure so that the area is nice and numb when your child awakes. All of the stitches that I place are dissolving and buried under the skin. I also use special skin glue to protect the wound following the procedure. I send the lump off to the lab for confirmation of the diagnosis and will write to you immediately as soon as I have the results. Like in any operation there are small risks such as bleeding or infection – but thankfully these are often straightforward to treat. In some circumstance’s lumps can reform after they are removed – but thankfully this is vanishingly rare. Following the procedure, I would expect your child to be able to go home the same day. Once the wound is healed I would recommend rubbing in bio-oil on a daily basis and avoiding sunburn as this can really help improve the overall appearance of the scar in the long-term. So, if you’re child has a lump – why not get in touch? You can email me directly at or call 028 9066 7878 to book an appointment Until next time, take care of yourself and your family. Best wishes.

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  • Child Patient Journey | Surgery Info | Mr Brian Maccormack

    Take the first step It’s important that your child’s journey is as easy, stress free and predictable as possible. That’s why we have highlighted a typical journey below. Take a deep breath, and know that you and your child will be cared for from the very beginning. What to expect To make an appointment simply book here or contact Kingsbridge Private Hospital directly on 028 9066 7878 Your child will be seen in the next clinic at your nearest Kingsbridge Private Hospital facility in Belfast , Holywood , Ballykelly , Letterkenny or Sligo . At the consultation Mr. MacCormack will explain the diagnosis, investigations, and help you decide upon appropriate treatment for your child. ​ If your child requires surgery then this will be performed at Kingsbridge Northwest or Kingsbridge Sligo . Get in touch A welcoming space for you and your child It’s normal for your child to feel uneasy about coming to see a surgeon. New environments, new people and the prospect of needing surgery can be a daunting thing for both parents and children. Having looked after thousands of children, Mr. MacCormack has the skills and experience required to make your child feel as relaxed and welcome as possible. ​ Mr. MacCormack will always ensure your child is welcomed with a smile, a child-centred environment and a compassionate nature. ​ If there is anything he can do to make things easier for you or the patient, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Your child’s well being is of utmost importance. Enquire here Insured Patients GP referral Get insurers authorisation Book consultation Diagnosis & Investigations Book treatment Patient treatment

  • Ireland Paediatric Surgical Services | Mr Brian Maccormack

    Specialist Services Mr. MacCormack offers a full range of specialist paediatric surgical services for infants, children and young people up to the age of 16. Below, you’ll find a list of available services, with links to more information on each. It’s important that you have access to as much information about your child’s needs as possible. If you have any questions about any of these services, feel free to get in touch. There is no such thing as a silly question, and your worries and concerns will always be valued. Get in touch Tongue-tie release Mr. MacCormack is happy to release your child's tongue-tie. This can be done in the clinic but after about 3 months of age will require a general anaesthetic. ​ Find out more Umbilical hernia repair Belly button hernias tend to resolve on their own by 3 - 4 years. If they persist Mr. MacCormack will repair these for your child. ​ Find out more Ingrown toenails Mr. MacCormack provides a range of advice and surgical treatment for the management of ingrown toenails in children and young adults. ​ Find out more Hydrocoele repair Hydrocoele is caused by fluid collecting around the testis due to a persisting connection in the groin. If the hydrocoele is still present at age 3 years, then these would usually be repaired. ​ Find out more Inguinal hernia repair Inguinal hernias in children can become stuck and compromise the gonads or the bowel. Mr. MacCormack will fix these on his next available operating list. ​ Find out more Circumcision Mr. MacCormack provides circumcision for boys up to age 16 with tight or scarred foreskins (e.g. BXO). ​ Find out more Orchidopexy Testes should be down by 3 months of age and if not Mr. MacCormack will ensure that corrective surgery is performed as soon as possible (ideally before 18 months of age). ​ Find out more Preputioplasty A great alternative to circumcision in carefully selected boys is a preputioplasty. In this procedure Mr. MacCormack will widen your son's foreskin allowing him to pull it back more easily. ​ Find out more Constipation Constipation is extremely common and thankfully usually easily managed if addressed in a timely manner. Mr. MacCormack has a special interest in managing severe constipation in children. ​ Find out more Epigastric hernia repair Epigastric hernias are often small and can usually simply be observed. If your child's hernia is larger or causing significant discomfort Mr. MacCormack can repair this for them. ​ Find out more Flexible endoscopy Mr. MacCormack is a skilled paediatric endoscopist and uses flexible telescopes to help identify disease in the upper and lower gastro-intestinal tract. ​ Find out more Removal of dermoid cysts Dermoid cysts are collections of different cells that are trapped under the skin. They are often found in the head, neck, or face, and most often around the eyes. These can rupture or get infected and therefore Mr. MacCormack will remove these through a small scar. ​ Find out more The door is always open Feel free to get in touch today If your child is in need of surgical care, the first step starts here. Feel free to get in touch, ask any questions you may have and begin the journey to a brighter future.

  • Reviews & Testimonials | Mr Brian Maccormack

    Your thoughts matter Every patient and every child’s experience is valued, respected and learned from. It’s important for you to hear from real people how working with Mr. MacCormack has impacted their lives for the better. Have a read of some of the reviews and testimonials past patients have kindly sent through. Get in touch

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