No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy
A personal guide to a safe, innovative procedure
Vasectomy is one of the safest and most effective methods of 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 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.
The No-Needle, No-Scalpel Vasectomy uses an advanced technique to anesthetize the scrotum and vas deferens, which makes the vasectomy procedure essentially painless. The procedure utilizes a high-pressure jet injector which sprays anesthesia through and around the skin. Patients feel at most a brief discomfort from the first spray injection.
We will discuss the procedure in person to determine the suitability of no-scalpel vasectomy for you. Among other things, we will go over your health history as it relates to vasectomy, and you will receive a brief physical examination. At some point, you and your wife or 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.
Vasectomy is 99.8% effective
Yes. All contraceptive methods carry some risk as well as benefits. Vasectomy is a very low risk procedure, but complications are possible.
This is another reason why samples must be taken some 6 to 8 weeks post-vasectomy to verify that your semen contains no sperm. Recanalization usually occurs in the first 2-3 months after vasectomy, but has been known in extremely rare cases to occur even years later.
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?
No. 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.