Performing vasectomies for over 10 years now, I’ve come to realize a few things about this procedure. First, I haven’t met a guy yet who has been truly excited about the procedure. Second, there’s always some fellow at work who’s got a friend of a friend who has some ‘tall tale’ of a vasectomy gone awry. Third, there’s just a lot of questions or misunderstanding as to what a vasectomy truly entails.
Read on, and I’ll do my very best to dispel as many of the rumors, myths or questions surrounding a vasectomy by telling you what it is.
Typically, a vasectomy is a short, 15 minute procedure, that is usually performed on a Friday, or on select Saturdays in the office. Two small incisions the width of this line ---- are all that are needed to perform the procedure, and going to work on Monday isn't a problem at all. Lidocaine numbing medicine is used throughout the procedure, and discomfort is minimal.
Sexual function is unchanged after the procedure, and ejaculation is minimally affected (95% of ejaculate is from the prostate, and not sperm)
Best of all, most insurance usually covers all or most of the vasectomy, so out-of-pocket insurance costs are usually minimal if anything.
About 500,000 vasectomies are performed every year in the US, and an increasing number of men chose this option instead of having their wife go through a more invasive, often intra-abdominal procedure under general anesthesia.
The vast majority of vasectomies are performed in the office; the actual procedure usually takes approximately 15 minutes for most people. We have found that Fridays are a great day to have this procedure done, which minimizes time off work. Most of our patients opt to take a full or half day off on Friday, recover quickly over the weekend, and back to work on Monday. We are also the only clinic to offer select Saturday vasectomy clinics, allowing you to minimize your downtime!
At Austin Urology Institute, we give you the option of taking a mild sedative prior to the procedure. Should you take this option, we require that a spouse or friend take you home afterwards
At your request, we will gladly electronically send a prescription to the pharmacy of your choice for both a mild sedative as well as minor pain medication that can be picked up in advance of the vasectomy.
We ask that you shave the scrotal hair the day prior to the procedure.
Also, please purchase jockey briefs, or similar supportive (bike-short type) underwear. UnderArmor, Jockey, and Champion are good options. We ask you wear this for about a week after the vasectomy
Relax! We have a brand new, comfortable procedure table, along with a LCD television with a choice of programs to keep your mind off things. We also have an Bose IPOD system, so feel free to bring your own music!
There are several ways to perform a vasectomy properly. Dr. Shaw first applies a small amount of lidocaine numbing medication into a dime-sized area on the scrotum. Since lidocaine is slightly acidic, this may burn just a bit, but this truly is the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. Thereafter, we make a small incision in the scrotum, about the length of this line ----. This tiny incision is similar to the ‘stab’ incision done with ‘no scalpel’ vasectomy; the same opening is made, using a sharp instrument instead of a scalpel, basically a play on words more than anything.
The vas deferens, which is about the size and caliber of spaghetti, is gently grasped, and anesthetized. We then place two titanium clips, each the size of this “V” on either side of the vas, and then remove a segment in between. This provides 3 levels of protection from sperm getting from one side to the other. The small incision is then closed with a small stitch that absorbs and disappears over 10 days. Usually within a few months, the incisions are no longer visible.
Go home and relax, it's OVER! Seriously, we ask that you plan a relaxing weekend after the vasectomy. Watch movies, sports, read books, but whatever it is, be a couch potato.
The kids are going to want to jump in your lap the second you get home, so be careful! We ask that you wear your scrotal support/tight underwear for at least one week after the vasectomy. Also refrain from sports, including biking, running, weight lifting, hula hoop contests, and playing the tuba for at least one week. Several men have tried (unsuccessfully) to get out of general household duties, but we advise that you do so at your own risk....
The small stitches are made of absorbable material, and usually in 7-10 days, will fall off on their own. You can shower the day after the procedure, but no bubble baths for at least one week...
Pain medications may typically only be needed the day of the procedure, and typically most men can do fine with a few advil/motrin/ibuprofen for the next few days.
You can resume intercourse about a week after the procedure. It is critical to understand that there are several hundred million sperm that are still in the vas deferens ahead of the area that was clipped, and pregnancy is still possible after a vasectomy. It is important that you continue using some form of contraception until a semen analysis is shown to be negative. Approximately 30 ejaculations, or 2 months after the vasectomy, we will have you perform a sperm test to make sure that you have ‘cleaned the pipes’.
We are one of a select group of practices that is proud to partner with Alere Pharmaceuticals to offer SpermCheck, which is a convenient, at home test to test the success of your vasectomy and make sure no more sperm are present. This easy to use, accurate test can be done in the privacy of your home, without the need for embarrassing followup semen-analysis.