About 500,000 vasectomies are performed each year in the U.S., helping men and couples take control of their health and their futures. And increasingly, more and more of these procedures are being performed using an innovative, state-of-the-art technique that doesn’t use a scalpel or large incisions. Called “no-scalpel” vasectomy, the technique uses an instrument called a hemostat to puncture the skin, creating a much tinier opening that results in less bleeding, less swelling, and a much more comfortable recovery.
Vasectomies: The basics
The purpose of vasectomy surgery is to prevent sperm from leaving your body so pregnancy cannot occur. During a vasectomy, the surgeon cuts the vas deferens, tubes that carry sperm from each testicle to the urethra where semen is ejaculated. Then the tubes are tied off or cauterized (sealed with heat) to prevent the ends from reconnecting during healing. Vasectomy surgery is nearly 100% effective, making it an extremely reliable way to prevent pregnancies.
After a vasectomy is performed, you’ll still produce sperm, but it won’t be able to leave the body. Instead, the sperm cells disintegrate and are absorbed by the body. Sperm make up only a very tiny amount of semen, so there’s no noticeable difference in the amount of ejaculate after the surgery. Vasectomies also have no bearing on a man’s ability to obtain or maintain an erection, and sexual function will remain the same once the procedure is over.
Benefits of no-scalpel vasectomy
Until the introduction of no-scalpel vasectomies, vasectomy surgery was performed using one or two larger incisions on the scrotum to allow the surgeon to access the vas deferens. After a traditional vasectomy, the incisions are closed with sutures. Because the incision is larger, there’s more bleeding and swelling as well as a greater risk of infection.
In no-scalpel vasectomy, an instrument called a hemostat is used to puncture the scrotum, making a very tiny hole. Dr. Lesani uses a small clamp to spread apart the skin and other tissues so he can access the vas deferens, then he gently pulls the vas deferens through the opening so it can be cut and tied or cauterized. Finally, the vas deferens is replaced and the puncture is closed using a special surgical adhesive. No sutures are used (and that means no itching, tugging or soreness that often accompany sutures, plus no suture removal).
No-scalpel vasectomy uses a local anesthetic to numb the area prior to the procedure so you won’t feel any pain. There’s no need for general anesthesia, and after the procedure, you’ll be able to go home after a very brief recovery period.
Recovering after your vasectomy
After your vasectomy, you can expect some bruising and soreness for a few days, and you’ll need to restrict your activities during the initial stages of recovery. Discomfort can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses (some men use a bag of frozen peas or frozen corn wrapped in a towel). You might also experience a sensation of heaviness in or around the scrotum for a week or two. Wearing supportive underwear or an athletic supporter for the first week and elevating the scrotum when sitting or lying down can also help reduce swelling and discomfort. Most men can resume most of their regular activities including sex about two weeks after the surgery.
About two months after your vasectomy, you’ll be asked to provide a sperm sample to ensure the procedure was successful. Until the results of your procedure are confirmed, you should use an alternate form of birth control to prevent pregnancy. Remember: A vasectomy is meant to be permanent, and you should never have a vasectomy unless you're completely sure you don't want to have children in the future.
Learn more about no-scalpel vasectomy
Although the surgery itself has no effect on sexual performance, a vasectomy may help you feel more confident and relaxed during sex since neither you nor your partner will have to worry about birth control once your results are confirmed. If you'd like to learn more about no-scalpel vasectomy, book an appointment online today.