What is a Keyhole or "no-scalpel" Vasectomy (NSV)?


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The ‘no scalpel’ method during a vasectomy is by far the preferred choice by surgeons and patients alike. The end goal of any vasectomy operation is the same. There must be a blockage to allowing the sperm to join the semen, in the vas deferens. The method by which this is achieved varies. The most widely used technique is called the ‘keyhole method’ due to the nature of the incision being so small and instead of removing the anatomy in order to perform the vasectomy, it is done through the skin so that stitching is not needed and healing time is quicker. Both methods take about the same amount of time to perform and they both have the same effectiveness.

The important difference for a keyhole method is that the vas deferens is left open-ended. The traditional method is ‘closed-ended’. An open ended result means that only one end of the tube is tied. This is thought to be much better as it does not create the normal build up of sperm. Instead it is allowed to flow into the scrotum. It has been speculated that the build up of sperm is a cause of post vasectomy pain syndrome so complications from all areas appear to be reduced thanks to the modern method. Apart from anything, the idea of a scalpel method can seem a little more frightening than the keyhole method and may have put people off in the past.

Read more in the Vasectomy Information Guide »