Circumcision is one of the common operations performed worldwide, for various reasons. Controversy exists as to whether circumcision is an operation. This literature review discusses the indications of circumcision, benefits and complications of circumcision, and alternatives to circumcision. Relevant articles on the benefits, complications, indications and alternative to circumcision from 1964 to 2005 were reviewed, from National Library of Medicine′s Pubmed database. Additional articles were obtained from the reference lists of key articles and recent reviews.