no scalpel vasectomy

No Scalpel Vasectomy

Safe, Effective Birth Control

Vasectomy is one of the safest and most effective methods for permanent birth control. It is much safer and less expensive than tubal ligation. For these reasons, every year more than 500,000 men in North America choose to have a vasectomy.

Introduced to the United States in 1985, No Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV) differs from conventional vasectomy in its surgical approach. It does not require the use of a scalpel or knife. Instead, the physician carefully isolates the vas deferens with his fingers and uses a specially designed instrument to make a tiny opening in the skin. The vas deferens are delivered through the skin, cut and sealed to block sperm. No stitches are needed to close the opening, which heals quickly, with virtually no scarring.

No-Needle Anesthesia for No-Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV)

The No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy uses an advanced technique to anesthetize the scrotum and vas deferens, which makes the vasectomy procedure much easier than the conventional needle injection technique. The procedure utilizes a high-pressure jet injector which sprays anesthesia through and around the skin. Patients feel a brief discomfort from the first spray injection.

Your Consultation

At Barbados Urology, Dr. Emtage will discuss the procedure to answer any questions you may have and to discuss post-operative care. You and your partner will be required to sign a consent form. It will state that you understand vasectomy and its potential risks and that it is not guaranteed to result in permanent sterility.

no scalpel vasectomy


Are there potential complications?

Yes. All contraceptive methods carry some risk as well as benefits. Vasectomy is a very low risk procedure, but complications are possible.

  • Though rare, bleeding (hematoma) and infections are the most common complications of vasectomy. No-Scalpel Vasectomy, the procedure I perform, reduces their likelihood because the blood vessels responsible for bleeding are less likely to be affected and because the opening in the scrotum is so small.
  • Another potential risk is failure. Vasectomy is not guaranteed to be 100% effective. Even when the operation is performed perfectly, it is possible in rare cases for sperm to find its way across the void between the two blocked ends of the vas deferens. This situation, called recanalization, is highly unusual but does occur.

    This is another reason why a semen sample must be taken at 6–8 weeks post-vasectomy to verify that your semen contains no sperm.
  • Sperm granuloma, a hard, sometimes painful lump about the size of a pea may form as a result of sperm leaking from the cut vas deferens. The lump is not dangerous and is almost always resolved by the body in time. Scrotal support and mild pain relievers are usually all that are needed for symptoms, though I may suggest other treatment.
  • Congestion, a sense of pressure caused by sperm in the testes, epididymis, and lower vas deferens, may cause discomfort some 2 to 12 weeks after vasectomy. Like granuloma, congestion usually resolves itself in time.

Answers to Common Questions

How will vasectomy affect me?
Vasectomy is NOT castration. Vasectomy only interrupts the tubes that carry sperm from the testes to where they are added to your semen. Your penis and testes are not altered. All hormonal and sexual functions are completely unaffected, so your voice, body hair, and interest in sex remain the same. Your body still produces semen, and erections and ejaculations occur normally. The only difference is that your semen will no longer contain sperm. As before, the body naturally absorbs unused sperm.

Can I discontinue other birth control methods right away?
No! Sperm can remain in the vas deferens above the operative site for weeks or even months after vasectomy. You will not be considered sterile until a post-surgical semen test has shown that no sperm remain. Until then, you must continue to use other birth control to prevent pregnancy.

Is vasectomy painful?
You may feel mild discomfort when the local anesthetic is given. After it takes effect, you should feel no pain, though some men feel a slight 'tugging' sensation as the vasa are manipulated. After surgery you may be a little sore for a few days. Generally, two to three days rest is recovery enough before men return to work and most normal, non-strenuous physical activity. Sex can usually be resumed 7 days after the procedure.

Does Vasectomy pose long-term health risks?
Many studies have looked at the long-term health effects of vasectomy. The evidence suggests that no significant risks exist. Men who have a vasectomy are no more likely than other men to develop cancer, heart disease, or other health problems.

In 1993, a panel assembled by the National Institutes of Health, the Association for Voluntary Surgical Contraception, and the National Cancer Institute reaffirmed that conclusion. The panel advised that physicians continue to offer vasectomy and that all men, vasectomized or not, receive the same regular screening for prostate cancer and other illnesses.

Can vasectomy be reversed?
In many cases, it can be. However, it's expensive and does not guarantee returned fertility. Vasectomy should therefore be considered a permanent procedure. If you're thinking about reversal now, perhaps you should take more time to decide whether vasectomy is right for you.

Before Surgery

  • If you have not already done so, sign the elective surgery informed consent form.
  • Do not consume any aspirin or NSAID's for 10 days prior to surgery without prior medical approval. Taking aspirin or NSAID's increases the risk of bleeding.
  • The day before, shave the hair from the front of the scrotum from the base of the penis downward.
  • To reduce the risk of infection, thoroughly bathe the scrotum and groin the day before and the morning of the surgery.
  • Take any preoperative medications as directed.
  • Bring with you a clean athletic supporter.

© Advanced Meditech International, Inc. 2007


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