What is a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure in which the vas deferens tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the penis are cut. Vasectomy procedures are a safe and effective form of permanent contraception. Approximately 30,000 men have a vasectomy in Australia each year. About 25% of men over 40 have had a vascectomy.
A vasectomy prevents sperm from being present in your semen. Having a vasectomy has no effect on your sex life and you will be able to have sex and ejaculate as normal.
Why do I need a vasectomy?
Appendicectomies are usually performed due to appendicitis. Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes blocked or inflamed, which is usually the result of food or faecal matter becoming lodged. Appendicitis is treated as a surgical emergency. If the appendix bursts the infected contents can spread throughout the abdominal cavity and be potentially life threatening.
What happens during an appendicectomy?
Having a vasectomy is usually a personal choice. Most men who choose to have a vasectomy do so because they don’t want to father any more children. Before having a vasectomy it’s a good idea to discuss your options with your GP and your partner.
If you are young and do not have children having a vasectomy may not be the right contraceptive choice for you. In some cases, a vasectomy can be successfully reversed, however, success isn’t guaranteed.
What happens during a vasectomy?
A vasectomy procedure is usually performed under local anaesthetic, however, it can be done under general anaesthetic if you or your surgeon prefer.
Two techniques are commonly used. A scalpel technique and a no-scalpel technique.
Scalpel technique: Your surgeon will make a small incision of around 0.5 cm on each side of the scrotum. He or she will locate and cut the vans deferens tubes and remove a small piece of tissue. The ends of the tubes are then stitched.
Non-scalpel technique: In the non-scalpel technique, your surgeon will use a sharp surgical instrument to pierce the skin over the vans deferens tubes. This incision is usually 1cm wide. He or she will locate and cut the vans deferens tubes and remove a small piece of tissue. The ends of the tubes are then stitched.
Both procedures usually take 30 minutes and both are equally effective. Vasectomies are performed as day procedures which means you will be able to go home on the same day.
What is the cost of a vasectomy?
Vasectomy procedures are performed in both public and private hospitals. If you choose to have your procedure in a private hospital, a portion of the cost may be covered by your private health insurance. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your insurance provider.
Please contact the Sydney GI Surgery team to discuss your needs and for an accurate assessment of the cost involved.
What are the risks of a vasectomy?
A vasectomy is generally a safe procedure, however, as with any surgery there is a risk of potential complications including:
- Abnormal cyst development (rare)
- Chronic pain (rare)
- Fluid build-up in the testicle,
- Inflammation caused by leaking sperm
- Unplanned pregnancy, if the vasectomy fails
Recovery from a vasectomy
After your vasectomy you will experience some pain and swelling in your groin or scrotum. You may also experience some bruising. You will need to rest for a few days and avoid lifting heavy objects. Your doctor will talk to you about using pain medications for the first few days.
It’s a good idea to wear supportive underwear for a few weeks after surgery. Your doctor will talk to you about how long you need to wait before you have sex.
A vasectomy does not work immediately. It usually takes a few months and up to 25 ejaculations to clear the sperm from your tubes and storage areas. You will need to have a semen test after 3 months have passed to find out if it is safe to stop using other types of contraception.