The Plastibell circumcision device is a clear plastic ring with a deep groove running circumferentially designed for circumcising infant males. It was invented by Hollister Inc in 1950, and first reported on in 1953. The device works by providing a circumferencial surface upon which to tie off the foreskin.
The glans is protected during the procedure by the ring. Hemostasis (control of bleeding) is effective due to the ligature tie. Cosmetically, a predictable result is obtained due to the straight line of the ligature that causes the wound. It is a quick procedure for the physician to perform — once mastered.
No bandage is required, allowing easy monitoring for infection.
The ring must fall off before final healing can occur. Rarely, the tip of the glans may protrude through the ring and become swollen, trapping the ring in place. Blood transfusion risk is 1 in 30,000 procedures (Wiswell).
One study of 2000 Plastibell circumcisions found a complication rate of 1.8%.
The foreskin must be slit and forced from the glans to allow entry for the plastic dome.
Furthermore, because convalescence depends on a (temporarily) affixed medical device, risks of infection or hemorrhage due to the bell slipping or otherwise failing are greater than a Gomco clamp or similar entirely-supervised circumcision.
There also is a report of impetigo caused by Staphylococcus aureus when using the Plastibell.
Plastibell is often described to parents as a non-cutting method. However, a dorsal slit (cut) is often performed at the beginning of the installation to make it easier to install. Once installed, the Plastibell cuts circulation to the foreskin, necrotizing the tissue, which will fall off in a few days (or it might be 'trimmed' after installing the Plastibell). The result is the same: the amputation of a healthy foreskin.
- The Dangers of Plastibell Circumcisions - Graphic
- Day, Danelle (2010).
The Perils of Plastibell Circumcision: A Mythical "No Cutting, No Risk" Method, Dr. Momma - peaceful parenting. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
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- Brennae, Mark (13 June 2007)."Ontario boy dies after complications from circumcision", The Vancouver Sun: CanWest News Service. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
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- Medical Board of Australia v Jabbar (Occupational and Business Regulation)  VCAT 1772 (5 November 2010)
- Paediatric Death Review Committee: Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario. Circumcision: A minor procedure?. Paediatrics & child health. 2007; 12(4): 311-2. PMID. PMC. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
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- Bode CO, Ikhisemojie S, Ademuyiwa AO. Penile injuries from proximal migration of the Plastibell circumcision ring. Journal of Pediatric Urology. 2010; 6(1): 23-7. PMID. DOI. Retrieved 13 November 2019.