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What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a small operation to divert the path of sperm so that when you ejaculate there is no sperm in the semen. It is a very safe procedure that is easily done under local anaesthetic.

The operation technique

Local anaesthetic is introduced to the scrotum and then around the right and left vas. If the patient is particularly anxious they can be given sedation via inhalation.

After the local anaesthetic is effective then Li vas forceps are used to grasp the vas, usually on the right side first. A small hole, approximately 5mm, is then made with a needle point haemostat. The lining around the vas (the sheath) is then divided (opened) so that the vas can be removed from the sheath. The vas is then moved outside of the scrotum.

It is then cut and the end closest to your body is sealed (by cautery). The lining of the vas (the sheath) is moved to lie between the two free ends of the vas and the sheath is then closed around the end closer to the body. A layer of tissue now lies between the two ends. The vas is then moved back into the scrotum and the procedure is then done on the left side.

This is a non scalpel open ended vasectomy with fascial interposition. It offers the best side effect profile with the least chance of failure.

What should I consider before having a vasectomy?

The most important question to ask before having a vasectomy is will I regret it? In FY 2015-6 there were 23000 vasectomies done in Australia. During that same period, there were 450 reversals of vasectomy.

Most, but not all, reversals are successful. For some men who have had a vasectomy it will lead to permanent infertility.