Call Us

IV Sedation (IV) versus Local Anaesthetic (LA)

IV Sedation (IV) versus Local Anaesthetic (LA)

There seems to be quite a lot of debate regarding what type of anaesthetic to have for vasectomy. Some doctors only provide IV sedation in a hospital and some only offer local anaesthetic in a GP Clinic and believe that IV Sedation is not necessary.

At MSI Australia we provide a comprehensive service where both IV sedation and local anaesthetic are available across the country. This is because both options are valid and need to be offered to cover the wide range of clients and their needs. Let’s explore this further.

What is IV sedation and who is it for?

IV Sedation is an intravenous form of anaesthetic where a needle is used to put a thin plastic tube into a vein in the back of your hand or arm. Small amounts of medicine are given to make you relaxed and sleepy. In most cases, you will not be aware during the procedure, or remember it afterwards. This is different to a General Anaesthetic (GA) where breathing gases are used and masks or tubes are used to assist breathing.

Anyone can choose to have IV Sedation for their vasectomy and many men simply prefer to be “knocked out” as they know they will not handle being awake for the procedure well. Other men may have had a previous inguinal hernia or scrotal surgery in which case we recommend them to have IV sedation as there is a chance that old scar tissue will make the vasectomy under LA difficult and may even mean the LA operation is postponed to a later date for the needed IV sedation. For all men who have had a previous vasectomy in the past we insist on them having IV sedation for the same reasons.

Around 25-30% of our patients nationally choose IV sedation and around 70-75% chose LA so don’t feel like you are the odd one out if you choose IV sedation.

A specially trained sedationist doctor or anaesthetist will check your health and discuss sedation and any risks on the day. This doctor will give you your sedation and look after you during your procedure. IV sedation is not suitable if you have had previous reactions to iv anaesthetic or if you have serious heart or lung disease.

Please tell the doctor if you have ever had any problems with previous anaesthetics or any heart or lung diseases.

Modern sedation is generally very safe but there are some risks.

It is important to remember that if you choose IV sedation then you will need to fast prior to the procedure and you will need to have another person drive you home on the day as you cannot drive for 24 hours after the anaesthetic. See further information here.

What is Local Anaesthetic (LA) and who is it for?

Local anaesthetic is where a small amount of medication is injected into the skin and tissues beneath the skin to deaden the area for a pain-free operation. The deadening usually lasts for 30 minutes but at MSI Australia Sydney we use a long-acting LA as well which leads to deadening for up to 5 hours or more. When the needle is introduced there can be a small pin-prick feeling but a pain-free needle technique we use results in many men not feeling the needle at all.

LA is for anyone who chooses it and there is no need to fast or to have someone else drive you home. It is also for anyone who cannot have IV sedation because of a past reaction or a heart or lung disease. Very rarely some people will feel some faintness even up to an hour or 2 after any procedure under LA so you still need to be aware of this and be careful driving home.

What is the cost difference?

At MSI Australia we are one of the only vasectomy providers offering minimal or no gap with Private Health Insurance (PHI) for both IV Sedation and Local Anaesthetic in a private Day Hospital. See these FAQs for more detail on PHI use at our Day Hospital network.

Therefore if you have PHI Hospital cover then you will only pay a maximum of $100 gap plus any excess applicable under your policy for all your doctor and hospital costs for your vasectomy for both IV Sedation and Local Anaesthetic which is pretty amazing.

If you do not have PHI no problem, you can still access exactly the same quality services with the price for LA ranging from $480 out of pocket in a Medical Centre to $690-$1,050 in a Day Hospital. With IV sedation the price range is from $750 to $1,250 in a Day Hospital which is still much more affordable than many other options in the marketplace.


About the Author

About the Author

Dr Justin Low

Justin received his medical degree from the University of Sydney in 1987 and completed the RACGP Family Medicine Program (FMP) in 1991. He became a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 1993. He has performed over 9000 vasectomies since 2011 during which time he developed the MSI No Scalpel Open Ended technique with painless needle technique. He is responsible for training an quality assurance of MSI Vasectomy services across the country.

You might also like these posts

Vasectomy is often misunderstood, yet it represents a significant advancement in male birth control. At MSI Vasectomy, we believe in empowering individuals with accurate, transparent information.

A vasectomy is a significant decision in one's life, often taken after thorough deliberation. It's a permanent form of birth control so understanding the vasectomy process and its implications is crucial before having the procedure.

Vasectomy, a widely chosen form of birth control, involves a surgical procedure aimed at preventing sperm from entering the semen, thus removing the risk of unwanted pregnancy during sexual activity. But a question we often get asked is can you get pregnant from dead sperm after vasectomy? We answer this and more in our latest blog post.

Vasectomy is often considered a permanent form of birth control, but advances in medical science have opened new possibilities for those who wish to reconsider their fertility options.
One significant advancement is the option of IVF after vasectomy, which offers an alternative path to parenthood without reversing the vasectomy itself.

Contraceptives play a crucial role in family planning and preventing unintended pregnancies. Understanding the various contraceptive methods is essential for making informed choices about sexual health. In this latest blog post ‘Contraceptives: Facts And Myths Revealed’ we discuss what’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to birth control.

Vasectomy stands out as a significant advancement in permanent birth control methods. It's more than just a procedure; it's a life-changing decision with far-reaching benefits. From its unmatched efficacy in preventing pregnancy to its minimal impact on the male reproductive system, the benefits of getting a vasectomy have evolved into making it the preferred form of birth control for many.

When considering a vasectomy, understanding the post-operative journey is just as essential as knowing the procedure itself. For many, a primary concern revolves around when and how they can resume their physical activities. This guide, focusing on "Exercise After Vasectomy," sheds light on the nuances of reintroducing exercise post-procedure, ensuring a safe and smooth recovery.

Deciding to have a vasectomy is a significant life choice and comes with its own set of post-procedure considerations, including when you can safely return to normal activities like swimming. Our guide offers insights into what to expect during recovery, tips on resuming physical activities, and specifically, advice on swimming after vasectomy.

Embarking on a journey of building muscle after vasectomy? This comprehensive guide sheds light on what a vasectomy entails, its impact on hormones, and how it affects your fitness regimen. Put your concerns to rest and get ready to achieve your muscle-building goals post-procedure.

Navigating the landscape of male birth control often leads to queries about vasectomies. Chief among them is the curious query: what happens to sperm after vasectomy? Delve into the journey of sperm post-procedure and uncover the scientific nuances behind this effective contraception method.

Download Free E-Book

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
ebook cover

Thinking Of Getting
A Vasectomy?

Take Control of Your Future Sooner
With a Lower Upfront Cost