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Vasectomy

Vasectomies may performed in your urologist’s office or at a surgery center. Our Urology team will decide if you need to be fully sedated. The need for sedation is based on your anatomy, how nervous you are, or if you might need other surgery at the same time.

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Curious about a Vasectomy?

Conventional Vasectomy

For a conventional vasectomy, 1 or 2 small cuts are made in the skin of the scrotum to reach the vas deferens. The vas deferens is cut and a small piece may be removed, leaving a short gap between the 2 ends. Next, the urologist may sear the ends of the vas, and then tie the cut ends with a suture. These steps are then repeated on the other vas, either through the same cut or through a new one. The scrotal cuts may be closed with dissolvable stitches or allowed to close on their own.

No-Scalpel Vasectomy

For a no-scalpel vasectomy, the urologist feels for the vas under the skin of the scrotum and holds it in place with a small clamp. A tiny hole is made in the skin and stretched open so the vas deferens can be gently lifted out. It is then cut, tied or seared, and put back in place.

Vasectomy FAQs

Vasectomy is a form of male sterilization, or “permanent contraception”. In this procedure, the vas deferens (sperm duct) is either blocked or partially removed on both sides. Thus, sperm from the testes no longer reaches the ejaculate, and no longer enters the female reproductive tract to cause pregnancy.

The patient is positioned on an exam table, and the scrotal skin is cleaned. On each side of the scrotum, the site of interest is numbed with local anesthetic, and a small (3-5mm) opening is made in the skin (by incision or puncture). Here at Hopkins, we perform the “no-scalpel” puncture technique, as this heals well without stitches and may be associated with less bleeding.

The vas deferens is gently separated from surrounding tissues, then cut and sealed. A small segment of the vas deferens is often removed as well. All structures are then returned to their normal position within the scrotum. The skin incisions are so small that stitches may not be used. If used, the stitches will dissolve on their own. Some ointment and/or gauze may be placed on the wounds.

Typically, the procedure itself takes around 15-30 minutes. However, the office visit will be longer due to the time necessary to get positioned and cleaned for the procedure. If general anesthesia is administered in the operating room, this can add a few hours of recovery time as well.

It is greater than 99%. In rare instances, the sperm can reform a path between the ends of the vas deferens. This is called recanalization, and leads to pregnancy in 1 out of every 2000-3000 patients that get a vasectomy. Vasectomy is still considered among the most effective and safe forms of permanent contraception.

Patients should consider vasectomy permanent.

If your objective is merely to space out pregnancies, or if you have even the slightest reason to believe that you might want to have children in the future, then a vasectomy will not suit your purpose and should not be considered.

Cryopreservation (sperm banking or freezing) before vasectomy is available as an option for those men considering vasectomy, though they should understand that use of the sperm requires professional assistance. Although we do not recommend sperm banking for all couples, some couples may elect to pursue this. Vasectomy reversal is also an option, but should not be taken lightly, as this can be costly and is not 100% effective.

A vasectomy is an outpatient procedure in which your surgeon cuts and closes off the tubes that deliver sperm from your testicles into your semen. Most vasectomies can be done in a urologist’s office. The procedure itself is quick, taking about 30 minutes or less.

Full recovery time is about eight to nine days for many people. Keep in mind this may vary depending on your individual perception of pain and ability for tissue healing.

It will take longer until you can ejaculate without sperm in your semen.