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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 placed under the skin and then around the right and left vas. If needed, we will use the “green whistle” to help you relax. This is the only part of the operation that could hurt. It stings for about five seconds.

Once everything is numb, we will secure the vas and make a small 5mm hole. The vas is then separated from its lining (the sheath).

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 (basically making a mini internal condom). A layer of tissue now lies between the two ends. The vas is then moved back into the scrotum, and the procedure is then repeated on the left side.

This is a non-scalpel open-ended vasectomy with fascial interposition. It offers the slightest chance of complications 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? Of the men who have had a vasectomy, approximately 1 in 80 to 1 in 100 men per year in Australia have their vasectomy reversed.

Most, but not all, reversals are successful. For some men who have had a vasectomy, it will lead to permanent infertility. There are other methods to help that man conceive, such as IVF.