How is a Vasectomy Done?
A vasectomy is performed in the doctor’s office under a local anaesthetic. The doctor may first have to shave a small area of skin on the front part of the scrotum to prevent hair from entering the surgical site. The skin is then cleansed with an antibacterial solution to reduce the chance of infection.
The doctor then feels for the vas deferens in the scrotum, locates it and brings it close to the surface of the skin in the midline. Some local anaesthetic is then injected first into the skin and then around the vas itself. This anaesthetic takes effect very quickly so that any discomfort is minimal. Once the area is numb, a special instrument is used to make a small opening in the scrotum. A loop of the vas deferens is then lifted out through this small opening, is clamped in two spots, and a portion of the tube removed. The cut ends are then sealed with cautery and are tied off with suture material. Where possible, a layer of tissue is also placed between the two free ends of the vas before the vas is returned to the scrotum. Exactly the same procedure is then performed on the vas deferens coming from the other testicle, using the same puncture site as for the first side. In unusual cases this may not be easily done and a second puncture site may be necessary.
At the conclusion of the procedure, the area is again cleansed, the skin edges come together, usually without the need for sutures, and the wound is dressed with a small gauze pad. A snug fitting pair of jockey style shorts will keep the dressing in place without the need for adhesive tape.
After the vasectomy you should go home to bed and lie flat. Apply ice packs intermittently to the scrotum for the remainder of the day and rest as much as possible over the next 48 hours. Most men are then able to return to office type work, but you should avoid heavy lifting and sporting activities for about 5 to 7 days. Showering is allowed on the next day, but you should avoid soaking in a tub or bath for about a week. Anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen should be taken regularly for the first 7 days after the procedure.
The procedure itself takes only about 20 to 25 minutes and is usually performed at the end of the work week. Thursdays and Fridays are regular operating days, along with the occasional Wednesday.