& Reversal Center
What is a vasectomy?
Vasectomy is the most common form of surgical sterilization performed in the United
States. Approximately 600,000 vasectomies are performed annually. It is a procedure
done to surgically sterilize the male. Once a vasectomy has been successfully
completed and the semen has been confirmed to be absent of any sperm, then the
couple can enjoy intercourse without the fear of having an unwanted pregnancy.
Vasectomy is 99.9% successful.
How is a vasectomy performed?
Vasectomy is usually performed in the doctor's office using a local anesthetic. Only in
rare instances will the vasectomy have to be performed in the operating room.
Vasectomy is performed through a small opening in the scrotal skin. The skin is
anesthetized with a local anesthetic similar to when you have a dental procedure. The
vas deferens, the tube carrying sperm from the testicle to the penis, is isolated. The
vas deferens is tied usually in two locations and a small segment of the vas deferens
is cut out. The small opening in the scrotum is then closed. The entire procedure
takes less than 20 minutes.
What is a no-scalpel vasectomy (NSV)?
No-scalpel vasectomy refers to a special technique of vasectomy where the scrotal
skin is not cut with a scalpel. Instead, a fine pair of instruments is used to create an
opening in the scrotum. The remainder of the procedure is similar to a conventional
vasectomy. The advantages of a no-scalpel vasectomy have been reported to be
decreased pain at the vasectomy site and decreased chances of bleeding. There is a
big psychological advantage to the patient knowing that a scalpel will not be used.
Most male reproductive surgeons are well trained to perform this type of procedure.
The following video is a full length unedited video of a NSV procedure performed at the
California Vasectomy & Reversal Center by Dr Edward Karpman.
What is a no-needle vasectomy (NNV)?
No-needle vasectomy refers to a technique of performing vasectomy where the local
anesthetic is delivered through a jet anesthetic device avoiding the use of a needle.
This device delivers the same type of anesthetic that a regular vasectomy receives.
The transient discomfort of placing a needle into the scrotal skin is alleviated.
Vasectomy Procedure and Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the recovery after a vasectomy?
Usually, the recovery after vasectomy is very short. Oftentimes your physician will
recommend light activity for 1-3 days after the procedure. Most people are able to
return to work the next day, especially if they have a sedentary job. Some people prefer
to have the procedure performed on a Friday and rest throughout the weekend.
Will my vasectomy be covered by my insurance?
Most insurance companies will cover the total or partial costs of a vasectomy. It is
cheaper for the insurance company to pay for the vasectomy than it is to pay for another
pregnancy. Even if your insurance carrier does not cover the costs of a vasectomy,
most male reproductive surgeons will perform this procedure for under $1000.
Considering the cost to raise a child per year is approximately $10,000, vasectomy is a
very affordable option.
What are the alternatives to vasectomy?
There are many different options for male contraception, however, none of them are as
reliable as a vasectomy. Unfortunately, a reliable male contraceptive pill is not
available. A couple can choose to use condoms. These come in various sizes and
sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms can break and they must be applied every
time prior to intercourse. Many men report decreased satisfaction during sexual
intercourse when they wear a condom. Also, care must be taken not to use a latex
condom in couples who have latex allergies. The "withdrawal" method/coitus
interruptus or the timing method are other techniques used to prevent pregnancy.
These techniques are not reliable and are associated with unacceptable pregnancy
Female contraception includes birth control pills, spermicides, sponges, intra-uterine
devices, implantable hormone pellets, and tubal ligation. Birth control pills and
implantable hormone pellets are reliable forms of contraception but increase the
woman's risk of multiple medical problems such blood clots and cancer. Spermicides
and sponges can be irritating to both the male and female partners. Intra-uterine
devices can migrate out of position and require a small office procedure to place them
by a physician. Tubal ligation is an operation that must be done under general
anesthesia and requires abdominal surgery.
Should I freeze sperm (cryopreserve) prior to my vasectomy?
Most people who wish to have a vasectomy are sure that they do not want to have any
more children in the future. Any doubts about their decision to have a vasectomy can
be alleviated by knowing that they have two very important options. The first is to freeze
some sperm prior to the vasectomy. This can be arranged by your physician. Sperm
can be frozen for many years. The latest successful pregnancy after using frozen
sperm is 28 years. The other option is to have a vasectomy reversal. This procedure
surgeon. Vasectomy reversal has been successfully accomplished up to 30 years
after a vasectomy.
How soon can I have unprotected intercourse after my vasectomy?
Normally, your physician will require proof that your vasectomy is successful prior to
authorizing unprotected intercourse. This is usually determined by demonstrating two
semen samples without any sperm. It can take up to 24 ejaculates to clear all of the
sperm downstream from the vasectomy site. Your physician will arrange the timing for
your semen analysis. It is important to remember that vasectomy does not protect you
from sexually transmitted diseases. Other precautions are required in these situations.
Dr Karpman answers hundreds
of patient's questions about
vasectomy and vasectomy
Visit this site to see if your
question has been answered.
Vasectomy incision pictures
The following pictures demonstrate the general healing process immediately after the
the vasectomy. Dr Karpman uses a No-Scalpel Technique with tiny "keyhole"
openings through which the procedure is performed. Typically, maximal swelling is
seen 48-72 hours after the procedure and maximal bruising is seen 4-5 days after the
Pictures immediately after vasectomy
procedure. Two small openings performed
high on the scrotum using a no-scalpel
Incisions are clean and dry. Minimal
swelling, no bruising.
Maximal swelling is seen approximately
48 hours after the procedure. Minimal
swelling is seen in these pictures. Slight
bruising is seen above the left incision on
the left photo which is normal.
The swelling usually begins to subside at
this point. Incisions have two small
scabs. Bruising seen over the left incision
is not progressing.
Swelling has completely subsided.
Maximal bruising is usually seen at this
point after the vasectomy. The bruising
remains small and confined to just above
the left incision.
Immediate post operative pictures after vasectomy, scroll down below
Video of No Scalpel Vasectomy, unedited