What is Vasectomy ?

Vasectomy creates a blockage in the vas deferens, so that sperms can no longer become a part of the semen liquid. This is a procedure for men as a birth control measure. Much earlier, it used to be mainly the women opting for birth control measures. Vasectomy provides men with the same kind of choice.

How is a vasectomy performed?

There are two main ways to conduct a vasectomy:

Standard vasectomy

Where two incisions are made in the scrotum that allows the surgeon to reach each of the man’s vas deferens (the two tubes that transmit sperm into the semen)

Keyhole/no-scalpel vasectomy

In this procedure, no incisions are made. Instead, the surgeon uses a hemostat (locking forceps with a sharp tip) to puncture through the skin of the scrotal sac. Then, the skin is gently spread only until both vas deferens can be visualized. The puncture site is very small and is just through the skin. Hence, stitches are usually not required; plus, the healing time is faster.

The keyhole procedure is less invasive and quicker (total time including prep and anesthesia is around 15 to 20 minutes).

What are the benefits of keyhole vasectomy?

As compared to the standard procedure, a keyhole process has more advantages, like:

  • Positive post-operative psychological status
  • Nominal post-operative pain
  • Few post-procedure complications
  • Quick recovery times (40-50% faster)
  • Quick resumption of having intercourse
  • Is extremely effective (99.85% to 99.9%)

What can be the possible disadvantages?

Every surgical procedure has some limitations. Vasectomy also does, like:

  • Sperm may still be present in the vas beyond the point of occlusion. Thus, men should use a back-up method of birth control for the first 15-20 ejaculations (or about 12 weeks) after the procedure
  • No protection against sexually transmitted diseases or HIV
  • Relatively new technique, hence, important to find a skilled surgeon. It is good news that Fakeeh University Hospital has the best surgeons available for conducting the procedure

Are there any side effects?

Usually, the keyhole vasectomy will not present any major side-effects. Though, some may have:

  • Very small chance of infection
  • Little pain
  • A reaction to local anesthesia
  • Short-term tenderness
  • Little bruising after the procedure
  • Tiny chance of developing sperm granuloma (a hard, sometimes painful pea-sized non-dangerous lump, due to the sperm leaking out from the open-ended vas deferens; often resolves itself)

How effective is keyhole vasectomy?

The procedure is almost perfect, but does not guarantee 100% effectiveness. Even after the procedure, recanalization can occur (when sperms manage to find their way across the blocked ends of the vas deferens). Although the occurrence is rare (less than 0.2% of the time).

Recanalization can happen in the first 2-3 months, and in extremely rare cases (1/4,500), can even occur years after the procedure. It is advisable to undergo your semen analyses 6-12 weeks post-vasectomy, so that you can be sure that no sperms are present.

  • Polysomnography – is a formal sleep study done in a sleep laboratory. It uses monitors that are attached to your body to record movement, brain activity, breathing, and other physiologic functions. This test may be used when an underlying sleep disorder is suspected or if your insomnia has not responded to treatment.
  • Actigraphy – records activity and movement with a monitor or motion detector, generally worn on the wrist throughout the day and the test is conducted over one to two weeks at home to gather estimates about how much and at what time you are sleeping.

Is the process reversible?

The procedure is intended to be permanent. Although vasectomy reversal procedures are available, they are known to be complex, expensive, and to have variable success rates. You should consult your doctor in detail before opting for vasectomy, and you should be very sure that you do not want to have any children in the future.

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