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How is a vasectomy done?

A vasectomy is usually performed in the office of urologist, a doctor who specializes in the male urinary tract and reproductive system. In some cases, the urologist may decide to do a vasectomy in an outpatient surgery center or a hospital. This could be because of patient anxiety or because other procedures will be done at the same time.2

There are two ways to perform a vasectomy. In either case, the patient is awake during the procedure, but the urologist uses a local anesthetic to numb the scrotum.

With the conventional method, the doctor makes one or two small cuts in the scrotum to access the vas deferens. A small section of the vas deferens is cut out and then removed. The urologist may cauterize (seal with heat) the ends and then tie the ends with stitches. The doctor will then perform the same procedure on the other testicle, either through the same opening or through a second scrotal incision. For both testicles, when the vas deferens has been tied off, the doctor will use a few stitches or skin "glue" to close the opening(s) in the scrotum.

With the "no-scalpel" method, a small puncture hole is made on one side of the scrotum. The health care provider will find the vas deferens under the skin and pull it through the hole. The vas deferens is then cut and a small section is removed. The ends are either cauterized or tied off and then put back in place. The procedure is then performed on the other testicle. No stitches are needed with this method because the puncture holes are so small.1,3

After a vasectomy, most men go home the same day and fully recover in less than a week.

Return to Vasectomy

See what others are saying

Comment from: Turn around, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 19

I had a vasectomy on Friday 10-13-17 at 11 am. There was some slight pain and tugging during the procedure, but nothing outrageous. That day was spent on the couch, basically no movement. After the novocaine wore off I was very sore, but I expected that. Next day I felt a bit better. I went outside in the afternoon and moved some tools around in the shed, 2 to 3 hours of activity. I was still sore, so I went back to bed. Sunday, I feel better still and I decided to mow the lawn in the afternoon. Nothing over the top, just pushed the mower around for 30 minutes or so. Still sore, not terrible, but still couldn't walk normal. The next day I went to work as instructed by my doctor. I work on factory equipment for a living. I was on ladders, under machines, pulling cables, moving heavy machinery, on lifts running air lines. This is all every day stuff in my profession. Three fourths of the way through my shift I couldn't move. I had debilitating pain in my scrotum. I took 4 Advil tablets, and I could barely drive home. I went to the doctor the next day, and he told me I had a hematoma (internal blood clot), very painful! He tells me I shouldn't have been doing those things at work. But that's my job! He ordered me out of work for the next week. I'm currently on my back in bed with pain radiating through my pelvis and scrotum! Hematomas happens in 5 percent of patients! And after sharing my story with other vasectomy victims, I have realized that out of the 8 guys I know who have now had vasectomies 4 of them have had 'abnormal' and painful complications; 50 percent! Can 50% still be considered abnormal! Everything from hematomas to inflammation of the epididymis, to undiagnosed PVP (post vasectomy pain). And in bad pain longer than that! Burned all my vacation time, and just got informed that the ultrasound and radiology reading I was required to do for the hematoma is not covered by my insurance and could be up to USD 3,000. Don't do it! Huge mistake!

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Comment from: Jude, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 28

I had my vasectomy done 8 days ago. I put on a brave face and the actual procedure wasn't bad at all. The first 2 days were a breeze. Pain was 1 out of 10 which a few Panadol helped. I started feeling pain about day 3 (3/10). Five days later, I accidentally scratched the left wound and blood gushed out everywhere. I just poured some Betadine over it and let it heal itself. Everything is ok but it's all still a bit tender and I have a bit of abdominal pain. I am still a bit freaked out about going back to the gym. A bit disappointed I don't feel 100 percent quite yet.

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Comment from: TJ, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: July 08

I had the traditional bi-lateral vasectomy over a year ago. The scrotum area was numbed up prior to surgery but even so when the vas deferens was cut on both sides I could feel a dull ache. It was kind of scary when on the table having it done all I could think of was the permanency of what I was having done. I had a quick recovery after resting for one day, as the next day I was back at work at construction. We have two children and did not want any more. Vasectomy was the best choice we made and we have not looked back with any regrets.

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