Is a scalpel-less vasectomy the right choice? The decision to get a vasectomy is one of the most important and life changing ones that a man can make. The so-called scalpel-less vasectomy (sometimes called the no scalpel vasectomy) has increased in popularity in recent years. Many patients consider it less invasive with a quicker recovery time. If this is the route you decide to take, please read on to hear the things you can expect before, during and after your scalpel-less vasectomy.
The initial consultation with your doctor or urologist is the first step. Many of them are using the scalpel-less vasectomy approach, but if they are not and you really want this method then ask for a referral. The questions they will ask you and the repeated affirmations they expect from you seem be directly related to your age and marital status. If you are in your thirties and married expect less grilling and affirmations than if you are a single twenty-something. This is your choice and you are an adult. If you are positive in your thinking, just let the doctor know that you would like to proceed with scheduling.
My scalpel-less vasectomy was to take place in a clinic office. It was scheduled and in my case I was given a prescription for two valium to take an hour before arrival on the day of surgery. This is meant to calm your sheer terror!! Seriously, it does help calm you down and prepare you for the surgery. You will need to arrange for someone to bring you and take you home as well for obvious reasons. You will probably be instructed to shave your scrotum before arrival, although many places will do this for you if you prefer not to. It is also preferable to bring a jock strap with you (or plan on buying one quickly) and to wear loose pants (sweatpants are ideal).
Now that you are present and accounted for and happily loopy from the valium you are ushered inside and ready to proceed. Once you are undressed and on the table, the doctor will again explain to you about what is to be done and how and will ask if you understand everything about the scalpel-less vasectomy procedure and if you have any questions. Once you are ready, you will receive a shot of general local anesthetic to alleviate any pain.
The no scalpel vasectomy (while lacking a scalpel) does have a very sharp probe which is used to puncture the scrotum near the center. This small hole is then widened and each individual vas deferens is drawn towards it and snipped, clipped and re-tucked. The traditional method generally can involve two cuts where the same process is achieved.
This is not terribly painful, but you will experience an odd tugging sensation that moves all the way to your stomach. You are fully awake and able to watch the proceedings if you want to. Don't hesitate to ask questions or request more anesthetic if you are feeling pain. The whole process is over quickly and it is time for recovery. In many instances, the scalpel-less technique does not even require stitches! The incision spot just sort of draws shut tightly. You can get dressed and wear your jockstrap if you have it already and you are set to go home and relax.
Different doctors may prescribe lortab or something similar for pain, but sometimes you will just be encouraged to take ibuprofen. The best thing is to go home and stay off your feet. Ice packs on and off your groin will help control swelling. Bags of frozen vegetables work great, too. You will easily be mobile the first day. You may have some minor swelling or bruising, but nearly everyone is back to work in a couple of days. Use the jock strap for support. It will help you. Obviously avoid strenuous activities. Many men opt to have their surgery on Friday so they can lie in bed all day Saturday and watch sports and be back ready for the office on Monday. This is a good plan. Pizza helps, too.
There are occasional long term complications involving pain and swelling. Don't hesitate to revisit your doctor if something seems unusual or you have performance issues. The long term benefits and peace of mind of a non scalpel vasectomy are truly fantastic. Most insurance plans cover the procedure and the long term savings over other methods of birth control are quite significant. There is alway a reverse vasectomy option if needed and alternatives to a vasectomy reversal that can be planned for as well.
If you decide to continue in your plan for this sterilization procedure, good luck to you and welcome to the club!