No-Scalpel Vasectomy

Vasectomy is a simple, safe procedure that makes a man unable to make a woman pregnant (sterile). It is the most effective birth control method for men. A vasectomy is considered permanent. Before having this procedure, you should be sure that you don't want to have any children. Vasectomy reversal procedures are available. But they are expensive and complex.

The no-scalpel procedure is similar to a traditional vasectomy. But it's done without any cuts (incisions) or stitches. This generally results in faster healing.

Getting ready for the procedure

Your healthcare provider will talk with you about getting ready for surgery. You may be asked to do the following:

  • Sign a consent form. This must be done at least a few days before surgery. It gives your provider permission to do the procedure. It also states that a vasectomy is not guaranteed to make you sterile. Read it carefully. Have all of your questions answered before you sign it.

  • Ask your healthcare provider if you should stop or avoid any medicines before the procedure.

  • Tell your provider if you’ve had any scrotal surgery in the past.

  • Arrange for an adult family member or friend to give you a ride home after surgery.

  • Shower and clean your scrotum the day of surgery. Your provider may also ask you to shave your scrotum.

  • Bring a jock strap (athletic supporter) or pair of snug cotton briefs to the healthcare provider’s office or hospital.

  • Follow any directions you are given for not eating or drinking before surgery.

During the procedure

  • You’re asked to undress and lie on the exam table. Sterile drapes are placed over you to help prevent infection.

  • You’re given shots (injections) of anesthetic into your scrotum or lower groin. This is to prevent you from feeling pain.

  • Once the anesthetic takes effect, the healthcare provider makes 1 or 2 small hole(s) in the scrotum with a pointed clamp. One at a time, the 2 tubes (called the vas deferens) are taken out through this hole.

  • The tubes are cut. A part of each one may be removed. You may feel a pulling sensation during this process.

  • The 2 cut ends are sealed by heat (cauterized). They may also be tied or clipped. The hole heals naturally without stitches, but skin glue may be used.

Front view of penis and scrotum showing vas deferens during and after vasectomy.

After the procedure

If you’ve been given medicine to help you relax, you’ll need to have someone drive you home. The local anesthetic starts to wear off after an hour or so. Any mild pain you feel is often very mild. If you need it, a pain reliever may help.

During your healing

Recovery time after a no-scalpel vasectomy is often less than after a traditional vasectomy. Once you’re home, you can do a few things to help your recovery:

  • Stay off your feet as much as possible for the first day. This helps reduce the chance of swelling.

  • Use an ice pack to help keep swelling down. To make an ice pack, put ice cubes in a plastic bag that seals at the top. Wrap the bag in a clean, thin towel or cloth. Never put ice or an ice pack directly on the skin.

  • Wear an athletic supporter or snug cotton briefs for support.

  • Don't do any heavy lifting or exercise for at least 5 days.

  • Ask your healthcare provider when you can go back to work.

  • Ask your provider when you can start having sex again. You must use some form of birth control until your provider says you’re sterile.

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