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Pain During Mogen or PlastiBell Circumcision

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Routine neonatal circumcision can be a painful procedure. Although analgesia for circumcision has been studied extensively, there are few studies comparing which surgical technique may be associated with the least pain and discomfort when carried out by pediatric trainees.

OBJECTIVE: We studied two commonly used techniques for circumcision to determine which was associated with less pain and discomfort.

STUDY DESIGN: In a randomized, prospective, but not blinded study, newborns were circumcised either by Mogen clamp or by PlastiBell. All received dorsal nerve blocks with lidocaine. Fifty-nine well, term, newborn infants at San Francisco General Hospital were studied from 1997 to 1998. Circumcisions were carried out mostly by interns and residents in family practice and pediatrics. Pain was assessed by measuring duration of the procedure and by a simple behavioral score done sequentially.

RESULTS: Dorsal nerve blocks were judged to be fully effective in over 70% of cases. Neither Mogen nor PlastiBell was associated with greater pain per 3-minute time period, but the PlastiBell technique on average took nearly twice as long as the Mogen procedure (20 vs 12 minutes). We judged that 60% of the infants had pain or discomfort associated with the procedure that was excessive. Residents and interns universally preferred the Mogen technique over the PlastiBell because of the former's simplicity.

CONCLUSION: During the procedure, Mogen circumcision is associated with less pain and discomfort, takes less time, and is preferred by trainees when compared with the PlastiBell.

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The interest, support, and participation of the University of California — San Francisco pediatric house staff, medical students, and the San Francisco General Hospital Infant Care Center nursing staff was critical for the conduct of this study.

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Financial support for this study was provided by the Department of Pediatrics, University of California — San Francisco.

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Taeusch, H., Martinez, A., Partridge, J. et al. Pain During Mogen or PlastiBell Circumcision. J Perinatol 22, 214–218 (2002).

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