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This surgical procedure is an option selected by men who, for one reason or another, decide that they no longer want to be able to father children. Our urologists have performed thousands of vasectomies, and if you are considering having one yourself, we can often perform the procedure in our office, or sometimes in a surgical center or hospital setting.

Vasectomy is a male birth control procedure in which the tubes that normally carry and deliver sperm are cut and sealed. The procedure is nearly 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. It is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia through a small incision and, although it might be reversable, it should be considered permanent.

The potential risks are similar to any minor procedure:

  • Bleeding of the scrotum, in the semen, a local blood clot or bruising of the scrotum
  • Infection of the surgical site with possible discomfort and/or swelling
  • Rarely, fluid buildup within the scrotum, chronic discomfort or inflammation, development of an abnormal cyst may form.
  • Very rarely, the vasectomy may fail resulting in pregnancy.

The basic steps of a vasectomy are:

  • Local anesthesia and a preparation of the scrotal skin with a topical antiseptic
  • A small puncture-type incision is made in each side of the scrotum
  • The small tube (vas deferens) which transports the sperm is identified on each side, severed (with some surgeons removing a segment to make the ends of the tube distant from each other) and the ends of the tube sealed by cautery or stitching. The skin incisions are then closed.

A vasectomy does not provide immediate protection against pregnancy as it may take several months and up to 20 ejaculates to clear the present sperm. A semen analysis is performed six to twelve weeks after surgery to microscopically determine that no sperm is present. During this time, other methods of birth control must be used. Also, a vasectomy will not protect against any infectious disease transmission between the partners even after the six-to-twelve-week analysis is performed.

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