Vasectomy is the name given to sterilization of males. The procedure involves cutting the vas deferens in order to prevent sperm from traveling out of the testes (balls) into the semen or the ejaculated fluid. If there is no sperm in the semen it is impossible to make a woman pregnant. Vasectomy is a permanent family planning method for males.
Courtesy: Pollock Clinics
What are the methods of vasectomy?
Vasectomies are either done using a scalpel or without using a scalpel.
This is the old conventional method of vasectomy. As the name suggests, in scalpel vasectomy, after giving a local anaesthetic, the doctor uses a scalpel (surgeon’s knife) to make a small cut or 2 cuts in the scrotum. The vas deferens is then picked up from each side in turn, small cuts are made and the ends of the divided vas are sealed. Sometimes a small part of each vas is removed. The opening in the scrotum is closed either with a stitch or by pressing the cut edges of the skin together.
Scalpel vasectomy is gradually getting replaced by no-scalpel vasectomy because of its many advantages including lower complication rate, quicker healing and less intra-operative discomfort.
In no-scalpel vasectomy, a local anesthetic is first given in the middle of the scrotum and a single puncture is made in the skin. The vas is cut and sealed like in scalpel vasectomy but no stitches are given.
Gentle Procedures clinics in Sydney perform only no-scalpel vasectomy because of its many merits over scalpel vasectomy. Advantages of no-scalpel vasectomy over scalpel vasectomy include:
- lower risk of complications, for example, less bruising, bleeding and infection
- quicker to operate, takes only 15 to 20 minutes
- less pain and discomfort during and after operation
- quicker recovery
- less fear and more acceptance by patients
- no needle, no scalpel
Courtesy: Pollock Clinics
What is open-ended vasectomy?
During vasectomy, the upper end of the vas is cut, cauterised and secured within a sheath while the lower end is left open. This is called open-ended vasectomy. It is now understood that with this technique, there is less chance of post vasectomy pain and higher chance of vasectomy reversal in future. This procedure does not increase failure rates or complications.
Anesthetics for vasectomy
Majority of vasectomies are done under local anesthesia. However, if men feel very anxious, or prefer not to be awake during the procedure, vasectomy can be done under intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.
If men do not wish to get either IV sedation or general anesthesia but prefers something more than just local anesthesia, there is another option called Penthrox inhaler. It consists of inhaled quick acting anesthetic and provides very good pain relief.
It should be noted, however, that there are extra risks involved using these anesthetics. You need to stay longer in the clinic and need somebody to drive you home after the procedure. It is also more expensive than using just a local anesthetic.