A vasectomy is a surgical procedure for men who have decided not to have more, or any, children. Vasectomy is the only permanent method of contraception for men and has a failure rate significantly lower than 0.1%. Vasectomy procedures are one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in Australia, with over 23,000 men getting one each year.
The vasectomy procedure involves separating the cut end of the tubes that move sperm from the testicles to the penis. After the procedure, ejaculated semen will contain no sperm. Sperm is the component that leads to pregnancy, and after a vasectomy it will be reabsorbed into your body through your tissue instead of being integrated into your semen.
Vasectomy procedure types
Before considering a vasectomy procedure it’s important to understand that you should consider it an irreversible process. Whilst vasectomy reversal services do exist, we don’t offer this procedure and we advise our patients to treat their vasectomy as non-reversible. Vasectomy reversals are very expensive, not normally covered by health insurance and do not have a 100% success rate. Vasectomies are for people who are sure they’ve completed their family, or who are certain they don’t want to have children.
Open ended vasectomy
A closed-ended vasectomy blocks both ends of the cut tube either with suture, clip or by diathermy. The closed-ended method used to be the standard procedure for vasectomies. However, it led to some patients experiencing congestive epididymitis (tenderness caused by pressure building up).
An open-ended vasectomy only closes the upper part of the tube, leaving the end connected to the testicle completely open. This allows the sperm to be released within the scrotum, which is not noticeable as the volume is very small. The sperm are naturally reabsorbed and there is less chance of congestive epididymitis and other complications.
No scalpel vasectomy
Before the no scalpel method, many vasectomies would require a scalpel incision and therefore, sutures. A no scalpel vasectomy only requires a single small puncture in the skin, and no stitches. We do this with a specially designed set of forceps. This decreases the chance of infection and minimises the chance of pain.
Some vasectomies may be advertised as a ‘no scalpel, no needle’ procedure. Before booking with one of these practitioners it’s important to ensure that they are doing this with devices approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Currently there are no devices capable of delivering a local anaesthetic through the skin that are TGA approved.
Typically, a vasectomy procedure will take less than half an hour and be done under local anaesthetic. With the development of our painless anaesthetic delivery technique, many patients report experiencing little to no pain when the anaesthetic is injected.
We do have intravenous (twilight) sedation available for those who require it. However, due to the additional cost involved, the longer stay in the clinic, and also the need to have a support person drive you home; we tend to recommend local anaesthetic unless you feel very nervous about your vasectomy procedure, or you have a medical reason, such as a prior injury or surgery, that would require twilight sedation.
Getting home after your vasectomy procedure
You will be able to drive yourself home from your vasectomy procedure, unless you’ve had IV 'twilight' sedation, in which case it will be 24 hours until you can drive again and we will need to release you into the care of a family member or friend.
Contact us about your vasectomy procedure
If you’d like a personalised quote based on your individual circumstances, please contact us directly and one of our specialists can talk to you about your options.