The purpose of having a vasectomy is to stop sperm from entering semen, effectively rendering men sterile. Sperm travels from the testicle via two tubes known as the vas deferens. By cutting or clamping these tubes, the sperm cannot leave the testicles.
Vasectomy procedures are very quick. Depending on which type of vasectomy the doctor carries out, the surgery will take 15-30 minutes on average. For the shorter procedure, the doctor pushes the vas deferens to just beneath the surface of the scrotum. He or she makes a very small hole to expose the tubes, which are then cut and cauterized.
The longer procedure is slightly different. The doctor makes a bigger incision to expose the vas deferens. The tubes are then cut and either cauterized or tied off. Alternatively, the tubes may be clamped with a titanium clip. The doctor completes the procedure with sutures to seal the incision.
The operation is carried out under local anesthetic. If a patient is very nervous, he may be offered a sedative. The patient can usually leave the clinic or surgery shortly after the procedure is finished.
The genital area may feel numb for a few hours until the effects of anesthesia have worn off. A patient may experience some discomfort once that happens. This can often be alleviated by using cold packs. Patients may also take over-the-counter pain relievers. There will normally be some swelling after the operation, and anti-inflammatory medications may be taken to reduce it. Patients are advised to avoid strenuous activity for a week after the operation. This is to allow time for the wounds to heal completely.
Complications arising from vasectomy surgery are very rare. The most common complication is infection. A patient who notices pus or blood around the incision should visit a doctor. Likewise, any patient who develops a high temperature after the operation should get that checked out.
Patients will be advised that they can remain fertile in the immediate aftermath of the operation. While the operation will prevent any new sperm from getting into the semen, it does not stop sperm that have already left the testicles. It is best to use birth control until the sperm count is zero. Most urology centers will arrange a follow-up visit in which the sperm count can be checked.
Vasectomy is one of the most effective ways to avoid unwanted pregnancies. It does not affect a man’s ability to have and enjoy sex. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Georgia Urology in Atlanta.