What is Plastibell Circumcision?

The Plastibell circumcision technique is one of the most common forms of circumcision in babies. Read more to find out how the procedure works and for aftercare tips.

Many parents opt to circumcise their sons, whether for religious beliefs or cultural reasons. There are also potential health benefits of circumcision, including a lower risk of urinary tract infections, the transmission of STDs and penile cancer. 

One of the most popular methods of circumcision is the Plastibell circumcision method. This circumcision method is usually performed on babies and toddlers, though it may be suitable for some young children aged 2 and above. Here, we’re going to look into the Plastibell circumcision method, and what you need to know about it, including aftercare and healing.

How the Plastibell circumcision method is performed

The Plastibell circumcision method takes around ten to fifteen minutes to perform, and includes the following steps:

  1. The area is cleaned with an antiseptic and a local anaesthetic is given at the base of the penis. This will completely numb the area for the duration of the operation and a short time afterwards.
  2. The foreskin is pulled back to free the head and an appropriately sized device will be placed over the head.
  3. The foreskin will then be tied onto the ring, excess foreskin trimmed back and the area is sprayed with antiseptic.
  4. The plastic device is left on, and after 7-10 days, the foreskin falls off on its own.

What to give your child after his Plastibell circumcision

Some things to get to look after your child after his circumcision include:

  1. Paracetamol/Calpol
  2. Ibuprofen (if your child is over three months)
  3. Germolene dual action, which is an antiseptic and local anaesthetic 
  4. Dettol
  5. Kitchen tissue
  6. Vaseline

Things to watch out for after your child’s Plastibell circumcision

  1. Excessive bleeding
  2. If your child stops passing urine
  3. If the ring has slipped or moved positions
  4. Any signs of infection such as excessive redness, warmth, welling or pus

Risks and complications of the Plastibell circumcision method

Circumcision is considered a safe procedure with minimal, if any, complications. However, in rare cases, complications can include:

  1. Bleeding at the site
    This is more likely if your child has a bleeding disorder, so do ensure you tell the medical staff about any preexisting medical conditions. Rarely, a small blood vessel might be nicked during the procedure, but the bleeding usually stops on its own.
  2. Incomplete removal of the foreskin
    Occasionally, too much skin is left behind. If the skin is uneven, a corrective procedure may be required at a later date.
  3. Damage to the penis
    In rare instances, the head of the penis can be damaged during the procedure. However, doctors take many precautions to prevent this from happening. You can rest assured that our doctors have performed over ten thousand circumcisions in all age groups, so your child is in the safest of hands.
  4. Infection
    During the Plastibell circumcision procedure, doctors will use sterile equipment, so the incidence of infection is low. However, it is a risk to be aware of. Make sure you know the signs of infection, including worsening redness, pus, swelling, pain, warmth and redness.

Some helpful information

For the next five to seven days, use petroleum jelly over the head of the penis when you change your son’s nappy. This prevents the nappy from sticking to the wound as it heals.

Do not be alarmed if a moist, yellow coating develops over the head of the penis. It can look a little like a graze as its healing, and also look a little swollen.

Only give your son sponge baths for the next week, and clean the area gently with warm water. To lessen the chance of irritation, use water-soaked dry wipes instead of baby wipes, especially for the first week.

When to call the Plastibell circumcision professionals

You know your child better than anyone, so if there is something you are worried about, do not hesitate to get in touch with the medical care team who performed your child’s circumcision. However, if you notice any of the following, it’s definitely worth checking in.

  1. Your son develops a fever of 38 or more
  2. You see active, profuse bleeding 
  3. Your child is very irritable after the initial 24 hours post-procedure is over
  4. The Plastibell ring slides down the shaft
  5. The Plastibell has not fallen off by seven to 10 days.

Modality Circumcision Service

To make an appointment for your child, or if you have questions about circumcision procedures, please read more information here, or call Modality Circumcision Service on 0121 250 0386.