Plastibell Circumcision: What is the Procedure? Side Effects and Aftercare

By DavidPage

Many parents circumcise their sons out of religious, ethical or cultural reasons. According to Vanessa Elliott, M.D., UCP Urology of Central PA, Inc., circumcision has health benefits, such as a lower risk of STD transmission, urinary tract infections, and penile carcinoma.

Doctors will decide the best method for your baby if you consent to circumcision. The Plastibell, Mogen clamp and Gomco Clamp are the most common circumcision tools.

The Mogen clamp and Gomco clamp use a probe to remove the skin from the head and a clamp to stop blood circulation. A scalpel is used to remove any excess skin. Plastibell’s technique is different in terms of tools and techniques. It leaves the newborn with a plastic band around his penis, which falls off naturally after 7-10 day.

Plastibell Circumcision Procedure

  • These are the main steps in a Plastibell circumcision.
  • Place the baby on a flat surface, with arms and legs held down.
  • A painkiller will be administered to him, usually a topical cream or an injection of lidocaine. To ease any discomfort, he might drink sugar water.
  • With a probe, the doctor separates the penis head from the foreskin.
  • Under the skin is a plastic ring of the appropriate size.

To stop blood flow, the foreskin is wrapped around the plastic ring and secured with a suture (sterile string).

The plastic ring stays on the penis until the foreskin is naturally removed in 7-10 days. Your son’s skin may become darker around the ring during this time.

Some parents prefer to stay with their baby while the procedure is being performed. Others prefer to leave their child alone with the doctors. Dr. Elliot says that although he will likely cry during and after circumcision, he’ll not experience any distress.

Side effects of Plastibell Circumcision

After a Plastibell circumcision you might experience swelling or bruising of the penis. The penis may also develop yellowish discharge. These side effects are normal and should disappear within a few days.

There is always a chance of infection or bleeding with circumcision. A botched circumcision can cause penile damage, sepsis infections, or even death. If Baby is bleeding more frequently than usual, has a fever, or isn’t urinating within eight hours after the circumcision, consult your doctor immediately. Let the M.D. know if there are any redness or bleeding that is spreading to his stomach. Let the M.D. know if redness is spreading to his stomach or if there is black/blue coloration on the penis.

Plastibell circumcision is not without its complications. According to a study published in The Scientific World Journal (2011), “The associated complications are incomplete circumcision due faulty bell placement or slippage while tying hemostatic suture and glans injury or bleeding due omission of hemostatic suture placement.”

How to Care For Your Baby After Plastibell Circumcision

Aftercare instructions will be given by your doctor or mohel, who are trained to perform Jewish bris ceremonies. Warm water should be used to clean the penis after every diaper change, especially if it is a poopy one. Baby wipes can sting so avoid using them. Dr. Elliot says to wash the penis in Baby’s sponge baths and to apply Vaseline/Neosporin so that the wound doesn’t attach.

The plastic ring should not be pulled on the penis by parents. It will eventually fall off by itself in 7-10 weeks. If it persists beyond 10 days or seems to slip down your penis shaft, let your doctor know.