West Coast Urology  –  Geelong   |   Hamilton    |   Colac   |   Winchelsea

A. PROF RICHARD GRILLS

DR KATHRYN MCLEOD

MR PATRICK PREECE

Urological Surgeons

Vasectomy

To download a PDF document about vasectomy (under local anaesthetic) please click:

  • Vasectomy is a surgical procedure which divides the vas deferens (vas).
  • The vas is the tube that connects the testicles (which produce sperm) to the seminal vesicles (reservoirs) where sperm are stored. Dividing the vas prevents sperm from being able to reach the reservoirs.
  • The procedure usually takes about half an hour.

 

The procedure

  • The procedure is done in our rooms under local anaesthetic.
  • A shave of the area will be performed before beginning. It is important that the shave is done here rather than at home to reduce the risk of infection.
  • An injection of local anaesthesia is then given into the skin of the scrotum and around the vas to numb the area.
  • A small incision is made in the skin of the scrotum about 1cm long. The vas tubes are then located, a section is cut out of the vas and the ends are tied. The skin incision is usually closed with a single dissolvable stitch.
  • Although you will not feel any sharp pain after the local anaesthetic has been given, you may feel some pulling and discomfort in the area throughout the procedure.

Cost

  • The fee for vasectomy covers the procedure itself plus the routine post-operative care. This includes your review appointment in 7-10 days with our Specialist Urology Nurse.
  • You will be required to pay the full amount on the day of your procedure.
  • You will receive a rebate from Medicare after the procedure.
  • As this procedure is performed in the rooms, you will not be able to submit a claim with your private health insurance company.
  • There is no need to fast for the procedure. It is advised to have a light meal beforehand but no alcohol.

  • Please ensure you wear a clean pair of jockey-style underpants rather than boxer shorts on the day of the procedure. These will provide greater support afterwards and help reduce swelling and bruising.

  • You MUST have someone to drive you home after your operation.
  • The vasectomy takes around half an hour. You will usually be able to leave as soon as the procedure is finished as long as you are feeling well.
  • The local anaesthetic will wear off after several hours. There is usually an ache in the scrotum for several days after the procedure – you should take Panadol or Panadeine as required.
  • You should expect some swelling and bruising in the scrotum and this may increase after a couple of days. To help reduce this you can apply an ice pack for short periods of time on the day of your surgery (a packet of peas is ideal). Wearing close-fitting underwear is also helpful.
  • Both pain and swelling are usually reduced by resting after the procedure and not trying to do too much too early.
  • You will have a light dressing on your wound. You can remove this the next day and shower as normal. Pat dry with a towel. There is often some fluid discharge from the wound for a day or two so you may need to reapply a dressing until this settles.

When can I return to normal activity?

  • Most people need one or two days off work after this procedure (depending on your occupation) but occasionally another few days is required.
  • Once the discomfort has settled you can return to your normal activities but we would advise against vigorous exercise (including sexual intercourse) for 7-10 days after the procedure.
  • It is wise to ensure that you don’t plan anything that you could not postpone for several days in the week after your vasectomy.

 

Review following Vasectomy

  • An appointment will be made for you to come back and see the Specialist Urology Nurse in about one week after your vasectomy. This visit is included in the cost of your procedure.
  • Your wound will be checked and arrangements made for having your semen tested in 12 weeks time.
  • It is very important to realise that the operation does not work immediately. Sperm “downstream” and in the reservoirs need to be cleared and emptied out. This takes time, usually about 12 weeks and at least 20 ejaculations. You and your partner must continue to use some other form of contraception until we know that all the sperm have been cleared.
  • Pain – there is always some discomfort present after a vasectomy but it is usually minimal and short-lived. On rare occasions men will still be experiencing some discomfort a year or more after their vasectomy. The cause for this is poorly understood but it may have something to do with the effects of back pressure on the testicle. Over time this discomfort usually improves but anti-inflammatory drugs and, very rarely surgery, may be required to resolve the situation.
  • Infection – a small amount of weeping from the wound is not uncommon but significant infection is rare.
  • Bleeding and scrotal swelling – a minor degree of swelling on either or both sides is common, and sometimes a larger amount may occur. This usually resolves, and it is rare to require further treatment.
  • Granulomas – a small lump may occur at either end of the cut vas (under the skin). They are thought to be due to a “blow-out” of sperm from one end of the vas and are usually not painful. Granulomas are about half the size of a pea and generally resolve over time.

The procedure is best considered irreversible

  • It is important to emphasise that vasectomy should be regarded as a permanent procedure. It is a decision that a couple should make when they definitely do not wish to have further children.
  • Whilst an operation is possible to reverse a vasectomy, it is highly technical, expensive and its results cannot be guaranteed.

Potential failure of the procedure

  • Although it can take a few semen tests for many patients to be given the “all clear”, some patients (about 1-2%) will not clear sperm from their semen. In some cases the vasectomy procedure may need to be repeated.
  • Furthermore, about one in five thousand men, despite having a negative semen analysis (no sperm present) after the procedure, will go on to father a child later in the future. Thus it is important to be aware that although the procedure is an excellent means of contraception, it is only 99.9% effective and should not be considered 100% effective.