Vasectomy Procedure

Traditional Method

Before the vasectomy surgery, you will be given a local anaesthetic and it may be possible to take a sedative an hour before the surgery as this is understandably a procedure, which can provoke apprehension.

You may be worried about the blade used to cut the skin. The use of a scalpel (sharp surgical instrument) is only used in more conventional clinics however the incision is still very small. The surgery usually involves one or sometimes two incisions and means that you will need stitches.

During a vasectomy procedure, the tubes inside your testicles which carry sperm, medically known as the “vas deferens,” are sealed or tied or in some way closed. This means that sperm cannot join the ejaculatory fluid and will reduce dramatically the chances of getting someone pregnant.  This will not affect semen production as it will simply be reabsorbed into the body. It will also not affect the production of sperm as this is separate to the production of semen.

It is normal to be apprehensive about being exposed during surgery, however you will be able to keep your top on and the majority of your body will be covered. The only part exposed will be a small area of the testicles. Your penis will be covered by operation theatre material and professionalism is maintained at all times. The surgeon will have performed numerous operations such as this and will be professional at all times. The entire procedure takes about 10-15 minutes to perform.

Keyhole Method

The Keyhole Method also takes about 10-20 minutes to perform. It was originally developed by the Chinese and is the most widely used technique in China while fast becoming a newly adapted technique in other areas of the world. The keyhole procedure has the same effectiveness as the more traditional method but involves the use of a sharp haemostat, which acts as a clamp rather than a scalpel.

The purpose and end goal is the same; to seal the vas deferens stopping semen flowing with the sperm and causing fertility. The no-scalpel or keyhole method is said to reduce healing time and reduce discomfort. It also has less chance of complications such as bleeding and infection, although some risk is still present, as with any surgery. The keyhole method has been known to include less scarring visibly also.

The keyhole technique also allows for an ‘open-ended’ result. This means that only one end of the tubes are tied and obstructed. As a result, sperm can continue to flow into the scrotum. This stops a build up of pressure and can reduce subsequent testicular pain.

Please note that although the procedure takes only 10-20 minutes, you will be required to consult the surgeon beforehand, go through paperwork and prepare for the surgery too. This can result in a total time of about an hour within the clinic or hospital.

Future Vasectomy Procedures

For the future of vasectomy in medicine, research is currently looking at if there is a simpler way of performing the operation by inserting a plug into the end of the vas deferens as opposed to sealing, cutting or clamping it. The implications of something like this being successful and coming onto the market would be hugely popular, given that some men often regret having the procedure. In an ideal world, the plug would allow for simple removal and people would not require the reversal vasectomy anymore.

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