Circumcisions FAQ's

85% of circumcisions involve boys under 6 months of age, but in general the younger the boy, the better.

It is difficult to obtain accurate figures as to the percentage of boys who are circumcised each year. Many boys are circumcised every year for a variety of reasons, so it is not uncommon to have the procedure.

Russell Medical have now performed over 73,000 circumcisions for boys of all ages using topical anaesthetic and the Plastibell.

Russell Medical was the first group of doctors in Australia to research the use of anaesthetic cream in combination with the Plastibell for childhood circumcisions. The results of the research were published in 1996. 

No, this is not required or even a good idea. Having a parent present is a distraction for the doctor, and we minimise distractions to focus totally on “doing a good job”. Parents have a big part to play in applying and reapplying the anaesthetic cream prior to the procedure, and again immediately post-op in comforting and feeding.

As discussed by Dr Terry Russell (MedicineToday May 2002, Vol 3, Number 5) modified Plastibell procedure with prior application of anaesthetic cream has many advantages over a ‘cut-and-stitch’ procedure under general anaesthesia.

The modified procedure:

  • Is virtually a closed procedure.
  • Reduces the risk of bleeding.
  • Reduces the risk of systemic infection.
  • Accurately defines the level at which the circumcision occurs.
  • Can be performed out of hospital.
  • Is less traumatic to parents and child than a hospital admission.
  • Avoids exposure to hospital bugs.
  • Avoids the costs of an anaesthetist and theatre and day-bed fees
  • Is less costly to the health system.
  • Frees beds for other cases.
  • Finally, when a general anaesthetic wears off, the pain is there. By comparison, the anaesthetic effect of the cream lasts for about four hours after the procedure, and by that time, the tissue beyond the ligature is dead, so that even afterwards there should not be any period during which the boy experiences pain.

In Australia, 75 to 80% of all circumcisions are performed using the Plastibell technique. Most of those circumcisions Australia-wide are performed using some form of anaesthesia or analgesia. We will only perform a circumcision if it can be done with the Plastibell, and these are only made up to a size that will fit a boy at about puberty.

Each year, we perform more circumcisions on new born to 12 years than any other practice in Australia, and a follow-up study, rated by parents, has shown that most boys have little or no pain either at the time of the procedure or post-operatively.

The Plastibell technique has proven effective at minimising all these problems.

Condition and percentage affected.

  • Infection, local 0.2%
  • Excessive bleeding 0.1%
  • Need for repeat surgery 0.1%
  • Infection, systemic 0.02%
  • Loss of penis 0.0001%
  • Death 0.000001%
  • Loss of penile sensitivity 0%


  • American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatrics


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014;


  • Morris et al. Mayo Clin Proc 2014;89:677-86

  • El Bcheraoui C et al. JAMA Pediatr 2014;168:625-34

Please bring him back for a review. If that skin is adherent, we will separate it off. Do give him a salt bath/sponge followed by air drying when you get home from your follow up appointment and daily for two weeks. Add a handful of salt to a shallow bath, clean the newly exposed area using a face washer if necessary. Air dry for another two or three days, while it’s a bit raw looking to make sure it doesn’t get infected. Then after that it is simply a matter of keeping it clean and dry.

No need for a doctor’s referral. Call our friendly reception staff on (07) 3349 6444 to arrange a booking.

The plastibell will fall off on its own accord when:

  • For a Baby, it will fall off in between 3 to 5 days.
  • For a young boy, it will fall off in between 3 to 7 days.
  • For an older boy, it will fall off in between 7 to 10 days. 

The cost of circumcision varies as it depends on your son’s age.

Is there any Medicare Rebate?

  1. A Medicare rebate is claimable off the consultation portion of your fee. This is roughly $76.00, or slightly higher depending on your family threshold.
  2. If your son’s procedure is deemed medically necessary, a rebate is applicable off the procedure component of your cost also.

Brisbane’s most experienced provider

With over 50 years of experience and over 73,000 procedures performed, you can trust Russell Medical to deliver the very best in quality and service.

One of our friendly team will contact you within 8 business hours.

One of our friendly team will contact you within 8 business hours.