What is Vasectomy?
Vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure that cuts and closes off the tubes or the vas deferens which is responsible for delivering sperm from the testes. This procedure is usually done for contraception. It generally takes approximately 30 minutes with only a few complications and there are no changes in sexual function.
The following should be done prior to undergoing the procedure:
Avoid the use of anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin as these medications are blood thinners and may cause excessive bleeding.
Make sure to bring a pair of snug underwear or a jock strap in order to support the scrotum and lessen swelling.
Thoroughly wash the scrotal area to avoid any infection. The patient may also shave the front of the scrotum as instructed by the urologist.
Arrangements should be made for someone to drive home the patient after the procedure in order to minimize exertion and movement which can intensify swelling.
The Vasectomy Procedure
The urologist usually performs the vasectomy procedure on an outpatient basis, which is often done in the office. This procedure typically takes approximately 30 minutes. The patient will be asked to lie on his back and usually remains clothed from the waist up. A local anesthetic (lidocaine) is administered with one or more injections into the scrotum. The vas deferens is then gathered under the skin of the scrotum and a small incision measuring 1 cm or less is created. The vas deferens is pulled through the incision made and is cut in two places wherein a 1-cm segment is removed. Surgically, each end of the vas deferens is tied off or clipped and then placed back in the scrotum.
Finally, the incision is sutured. This procedure is repeated on the other side of the scrotum. Cauterization of the ends of the vas deferens is done by some urologists. On the other hand, other urologists think that cauterizing the vas deferens complicates reversal and is unnecessary. After the procedure, the doctor dresses the incisions and patients may go home right after the procedure.
What are the benefits of undergoing a vasectomy?
Unlike in females wherein tubal ligation is done, that is the procedure used to stop a woman’s egg from reaching the uterus, the vasectomy is a less invasive procedure and this may be easily reversed. Reports show that many couples are choosing this method as a means of permanent birth control.
Is vasectomy permanent?
Vasectomy is permanent. Once the procedure is announced successful, the patient will be permanently sterile. It is extremely rare for two cut ends of the vas deferens to be spontaneously rejoined with a probability of 1 in 1000. Because of this reason, one should be absolutely sure that the patient has no intention of having more children before you consent to the surgery.
What should be expected after a vasectomy?
Some patients may occasionally experience some mild aching in the testicles during sexual arousal a few months postoperatively. On the other hand, this procedure does not get in the way of a man’s sex drive, ability to have erections, sensation of orgasm, or ability to ejaculate.
What is a no-scalpel vasectomy?
The no-scalpel vasectomy makes use of a surgical clamp to hold the vas deferens while a puncture incision instead of a cut is created with the use of special forceps. The skin is stretched by opening the forceps creating a small hole through which the vas deferens is lifted out, cut, sutured or cauterized, and then put back in its place. Since a puncture incision is used instead of a cut, no suturing is needed. The no scalpel method is quicker and lessens postoperative discomfort, as well as the risk for bleeding and infection which is why this method is recommended more by some urologists.