It is terribly troubling that a lot of parents are told that the Plastibell form of circumcision is "less painful" or "less traumatic" for a newborn. For this surgery, a Plastibell is used rather than a Gomco Clamp or Mogen Clamp. "Plastibell" may sound like a more inviting tool to use on a highly sensitive penis than "Clamp." The reality, however, is that all forms of genital cutting are equally excruciating for a newborn. All forms amputate the purposeful prepuce organ which serves many important functions in infancy, childhood, and adulthood. If you are considering having your baby circumcised using the Plastibell method, here is one video to witness this particular surgical procedure.
Note that this video was made by a pro-cutting doctor and his assistant, so the baby's screaming is muted and words are instead placed on the screen describing what is being done. Not all of the information they post is entirely accurate -- NO health or medical organization in the entire world recommends circumcision on infants. No health or medical organization in the entire world recommends that anyone other than the young boy himself 'mess with' his foreskin. While the average age of retraction is 10.6 years of age, sometimes this natural retraction does not occur until the hormones of puberty naturally loosen the prepuce. The problems that have arisen for a minority of intact babies, boys, or men, in the U.S. occur because someone forcibly retracted or attempted to 'clean' between their foreskin and penis glans (head) before it was retracting fully on its own. This is the same as if we pulled back the fingernails of a newborn baby to 'clean' between their fingernails and fingers, or if we scrubbed out the area between the eyelids and eyeballs. The prepuce is tightly adhered to the glans (head) of the penis. There is zero care needed for an intact baby boy. The prepuce is a self-cleaning, self-sustaining, remarkable and necessary organ.
Additional video examples of Plastibell circumcision surgery:
For promotion of his practice, this Australian physician (who profits on the sale of circumcision surgery) uses a large amount of anesthesia - both topically before injection, and local anesthesia in three locations, pressing deep into the penile tissues to reach the dorsal nerve running to the base of the frenulum. He also waits adequate amount of time for the anesthesia to kick in. Rarely is this practice (either the heavy amount of anesthesia, placement, or time in waiting for it to take effect) carried through as such in the United States or Canada. This video is a rare one in which the baby has adequate local anesthesia to dull the pain of the surgery, and the process - the amputation of the prepuce by Plastibell - can be seen clearly. Unfortunately, the physician fails to discuss the monumental pain that will ensue when this local anesthesia wears off, or all the many purposes of the prepuce organ that have now been forever removed from this baby. Anesthesia is counter-indicated for newborns by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which is one reason the majority of hospitals conducting genital cutting do not utilize it in their newborn circumcision surgeries. Another reason, as one U.S. physician recently stated is because, "I can get the job done much faster without having to wait 10 minutes for anesthesia to kick in."
Aside from the Plastibell, the Gomco is the other most commonly performed method of prepuce amputation in the United States. When a parent decides against keeping their child intact, one of these two methods of circumcision surgery will almost always take place in the U.S. As a result, we include one example of the Gomco here as well:
For additional information on the prepuce (foreskin), circumcision, and intact care, see: Are You Fully Informed?