“I don’t need you to remind me of my age. I have a bladder to do that for me.”
— Stephen Fry
This is a small operation to make a man sterile (incapable of fathering children) by dividing a small tube from each testicle which transmits the sperms. The operation should be considered irreversible and therefore not undertaken unless family is considered complete. Vasectomy is a very good method of permanent contraception.
Does it work instantly?
The operation is not immediately effective. Sperms present in the body at the time of the operation have to work out by sexual relations after the operation. This takes three to four months. During this time precautions against pregnancy must continue. To make sure the operation has been successful two specimens of semen are analysed under a microscope three and four months after the operation. If they both show complete absence of all sperms, the operation can be considered a success and all contraceptive precautions stopped. Sometimes more than two specimens of semen must be analysed before success of the operation can he confirmed. The operation can fail even after this stage, but very rarely.
What type of anaesthetic is used? What to expect during the operation?
The operation takes 15–20 minutes and is usually carried out under local anaesthetic.
If you are very sensitive in the genital area or if there are any associated conditions like Varicocele, general anaesthetic may be advisable. Any sensitivity or allergy to local anaesthetic agents must be made known to the surgeon. The operation is virtually painless apart from the two injections of local anaesthetic into the upper part of the scrotum. You may feel slight pulling sensation while the tube is being handled.
Do I need to have sutures removed?
We usually carry out a no-scalpel vasectomy, through small punctures, which seal off almost instantly. Sometimes you may need 1 or 2 stitches in the skin which will dissolve and fall out in a few days. The small wounds may discharge small amount of dirty looking fluid for a few days. The fluid will gradually dry up. A bath should be taken every day after the operation; the area carefully dried and the support put back on (and kept on during the night).
What are the after effects/complications and how to overcome these?
- Pain is experienced for three to four days after the operation. Strenuous movement exercises or work should be avoided over this time, particularly the first 48 hours. A tight scrotal support should be worn and Ibuprofen, paracetamol (or something similar) taken by mouth if needed for the pain. A tight pair of swimming trunks is perfectly satisfactory.
- There is often a little bruising and swelling of the scrotum after the operation. This is to be expected and will gradually disappear if the scrotal support is kept on. (One side only may he bruised, swollen or both.)
- If the operation site(s) obviously becomes infected all that is required is a week’s course of antibiotic from your general practitioner (and keep the scrotal support on).
- Excessive internal bleeding is rare, especially with no scalpel technique. It may happen in the first 48 hours after the operation hence the instruction to avoid undue exertion during that time. Internal bleeding is present if the scrotum becomes bruised, very swollen and extremely painful, If this happens advice should he sought at once from the surgeon or failing that your general practitioner.
- Pain in one or other side of the scrotum. It usually occurs several weeks and months after the operation. It is spasm like in nature and sometimes related to intercourse. The cause is unknown (possibly related to distension of epididymis where sperms are stored and have no way of coming out). It usually disappears after a variable length of time (usually months). A tight scrotal support is often helpful if worn continuously. The pain rarely occurs on both sides, or after several years following vasectomy. Fortunately the incidence of persistent pain is rare
- Failure of operation due to spontaneous re-joining of one (or both) of the tubes later in life, for no apparent reason. This is minimised by taking out a segment of tube, cauterising the ends and also tying them. Re canalisation may occur in one case in approximately several hundred cases of vasectomy carried out. I have not come across this complication in my practice.
Hopefully, none of these will happen to you!
Meet Our Team
Mr Bernard Potluri
Mr Bernard Potluri
Dr. Mubashar Zia
Dr. Mubashar Zia
Dr. Shashi Gopinath
Dr. Shashi Gopinath
Dr. Venkat Shenoy
Dr. Venkat Shenoy
Latest news from Herts Essex Urology
In line with advice from Public Health England, please be aware that you should not attend the hospital as a visitor or to attend any appointments or planned admissions if you have been to the following areas in the last 14 days; or have come in to close contact with someone who you know has…
Men with prostate cancer can be spared radiotherapy after surgery, according to late breaking results of the RADICALS-RT trial presented by Prof. Chris Parker (The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK), as well as a supportive meta-analysis of 3 trials. The analysis found no evidence that adjuvant radiotherapy improves…
Wishing you a healthy, happy and peaceful festive time. From all of us at Herts & Essex Urology
“Ejaculating at least 21 times a month significantly reduces a man’s risk of prostate cancer,” is the headline on the Mail Online. This is based on research from the US that asked men how often they ejaculated per month and subsequent reporting of prostate cancer. They found that men who ejaculated 21 times or more…
There is no “one-size-fits-all” diet for preventing kidney stones. Everyone is different. Your diet may not be causing your stones to form. But there are dietary changes that you can make to stop stones from continuing to form. Below are some tips. Diet Changes 1. Drink enough fluids each day. If you are not producing…
Testicular cancer starts in the male gland known as a testicle or testis (two are called testicles, or testes). Though it can affect a man or boy at any age, it is most often found in men age 15 to 44 years. It’s fairly rare and very treatable. With early diagnosis, testicular cancer can be…
Learn more about your bladder health and how to keep your bladder healthy! The bladder is a hollow, balloon shaped organ, and is mostly made of muscle. On average, the bladder holds about two cups of urine (about 16 ounces). When the bladder is empty it looks like a deflated balloon. The shape of a…
FDA Approves First Gene Therapy for Bladder Cancer Patients with BCG-unresponsive bladder cancer had limited treatment options other than bladder removal surgery. The approval of Adstiladrin is therefore a great advance in the current treatment landscape and provides a novel treatment option.
Your bladder health is linked to your bowel health. If you have bladder leaks, you may notice they get worse when you are constipated. That’s because when you are constipated, your colon gets larger and places more pressure on your bladder. This can make you feel like you have to pass urine more urgently and…
The rapidly growing field of mobile health and smart technology has many applications in helping patients prevent the recurrence of stone disease. These include software applications to improve fluid intake, diet and medication adherence. Additionally, the integration of hardware technologies such as smart water bottles and wearables can further improve the ability to provide timely…