What to expect when you have a vasectomy.
The vasectomy procedure is considered a minor surgery that is generally performed in the office. Its purpose is to eliminate the presence of sperm in semen to prevent pregnancy. In simple terms, this is achieved by cutting the vas deferens to stop the passage of sperm. The vasectomy procedure is done under local anesthesia, so that patients are awake and responsive while it is being done. Patients might feel a pulling or tugging sensation, but they will not experience pain. Most vasectomies will take between 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
The conventional vasectomy procedure
During a conventional vasectomy, a urologist makes one or two small incisions into the skin of the scrotum. The urologist will then cut each vas deferens; sometimes removing a tiny piece in order to leave a small gap between the two remaining ends. The ends of the vas deferens are then tied or clipped, and cauterized to create a permanent seal. Finally, the urologist will close the small incisions with dissolvable stitches.
The no-scalpel vasectomy procedure
At Urology Austin, men are also offered a no-scalpel vasectomy – a newer technique. During this procedure, the urologist will locate the vas deferens beneath the skin of the scrotum. Once found, they will hold it into place with a small clamp. Using a special instrument, they will make a very small puncture into the skin of the scrotum, and stretch this opening. When stretched, this will allow the urologist to gently lift the vas deferens out. Once exposed, it will be cut, tied or cauterized, and then placed back into the scrotum.
The no-scalpel method has some benefits over a conventional vasectomy including:
- A smaller opening in the skin of the scrotum
- Less pain
- Less bleeding
- Less swelling
The day of surgery
Prior to surgery, all patients will be given complete instructions so that they are prepared for their appointment. Instructions include:
- Stop taking prescription or over-the-counter blood thinning medication two days prior to surgery . Over-the-counter medications include aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). Patients may use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain before and after surgery.
- Specific instructions will be given to the patient on how to clean and shave the scrotal area on the day of surgery.
At the office, medical staff will assist with the following:
- If necessary, staff will clean and shave the area of surgery (the scrotum) with an antiseptic cleaner.
- Anxiety medication will be offered to the patient.
- Medical staff will inject a local anesthetic into the scrotum.
A vasectomy is a short procedure, so the patient will return home after it is complete. It is recommended that patients arrange to have a driver take them home. Before leaving the office, staff will provide the patient with detailed post-procedure instructions for their recovery. These instructions will answer questions regarding activity level, sexual activity, pain control and possible reactions to the vasectomy. A staff member will review these instructions with the patient before they leave the office.
If you are interested in scheduling a vasectomy consult, contact Urology Austin to make an appointment with one of our urologists.