How Is A Vasectomy Performed?

The Process Behind This Male Sterilization Procedure

Biomedical illustration of a vasectomy
Biomedical illustration of a vasectomy. Getty Images/Stocktrek Images


How is a vasectomy operation performed?


A vasectomy is intended to prevent fertility in males. But though the result is not easily reversible, the procedure itself does not require hospitalization. Rather, it is simple enough to be completed within 30 minutes, after which the patient can then be accompanied home after a recovery time of about one hour.

Before going in for a vasectomy, it is suggested that you arrange for a friend of family member to accompany you in case you feel any discomfort after the procedure and need someone to drive you home.

You should also shower the day of the surgery, and perhaps even shave your scrotum. Some doctors also recommend that you bring a jockstrap or a pair of snug cotton briefs to the hospital. Eat lightly beforehand.

You should also avoid taking certain medications before your procedure (ask your doctor for a list), as these medications can cause bleeding.

Upon arrival, a local anesthetic will be administered to your scrotum prior to the operation. After the anesthesia has taken effect, the vas deferens (the part of the male reproductive system that carries your sperm to the ejaculatory ducts) will then be operated on, one at a time.

During this operation, a scalpel will be used to make two small incisions, one on either side of the scrotum. This provides access to the vas deferens, so they can be brought to the surface for surgical removal. They will then be cut out, and at least one side will be sealed by suturing, cauterization, or clamping.

All done!

This is the most common method of performing of vasectomy, though there are other variations on this procedure. One such variation is the no-scalpel vasectomy, during which a special surgical tool is used to puncture (rather than cut) the skin. Via this smaller opening, both tubes are tied off, cauterized, or blocked.

This procedure does not require any sutures. This is a popular option among men who would prefer to avoid the use of a scalpel.

Still other options exist, including the use of no-needle anesthesia, an open-ended vasectomy, or vas irrigation (a process by which sterile water or some other fluid that kills sperm is injected into the vas deferens).

The intended result of a vasectomy, however, is always the same. The man becomes sterile by keeping his sperm out of the seminal fluid. While the sperm continues to be produced in the testes, they are then absorbed into the body with no ill effects. What this means is that you will still ejaculate fluid as before but, because there is no longer sperm in your ejaculate, there is no danger of an unwanted pregnancy.

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