Vasectomy 101: Procedure, Side Effects & Risk
What is a vasectomy? The experienced professionals of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona answer common questions regarding the procedure, including known vasectomy side effects and risks.
A vasectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which the vas deferens is sealed to prevent the release of sperm into the seminal fluid. When performed by experienced surgeons, like the doctors of Academic Urology and Urogynecology of Arizona, vasectomies present little risk to patients and are considered a highly effective form of birth control. Though reversal of a vasectomy is possible, the procedure should not be considered by men in search of a temporary contraceptive.
What to Expect During and After Vasectomy
Advances in medical technology have made the vasectomy virtually an incision-free procedure. Using the no scalpel vasectomy technique, the urologists of Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona make a midline puncture in the scrotal sac. The vas deferens is guided through the opening and the tube cut, tied or cauterized to prevent the flow of sperm. In total, the procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete and is performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. The scalpel-free approach to the procedure is less invasive than traditional vasectomy and reduces the risk of bleeding and postoperative complications.
After surgery, patients may experience some degree of bruising, swelling, and tenderness on or around the incision site. Patients will be advised to rest and lie on their back for the remainder of the day. Supportive undergarments should be worn to ease discomfort and provide protection to the operating site. Vasectomy side effects are mild and traditionally subside several days after surgery. Patients will be well enough for work one to two days after the procedure, though heavy lifting should be avoided during the first week of recovery. Sexual activity can resume as soon as the patient feels well enough-typically 72 hours to one week after the vasectomy procedure is performed.
Vasectomy Success Rates
Vasectomy is 99.85% effective. It is important to note, however, that sterility is NOT immediate. An alternate form of birth control should be used until tests confirm a sperm count of zero. A vasectomy does not stop the production of sperm and blocked sperm is reabsorbed by the body. After a vasectomy, there is no impact on a patient's sex drive, ability to achieve and hold an erection, the ability to ejaculate, or an impact on the intensity of orgasm. Complications are possible but rare, a topic the doctors of Academic Urology and Urogynecology will gladly discuss with considering patients.
Vasectomy Reversal: Can it be done?
A vasectomy is a permanent means of birth control and should therefore only be considered by men who do not want future children. However, should life's circumstances change and an individual wish to restore their fertility, a vasectomy reversal is possible using a microsurgical procedure known as vasovasostomy. Like a vasectomy, reversal surgery is minimally invasive and is most oftentimes performed on an outpatient basis. Success is hinged on many factors, including time. Statistics indicate that the restoration of fertility is more likely for men who elect to pursue a vasectomy reversal within 15 years of their original vasectomy procedure.
Academic Urology & Urogynecology of Arizona: