Principles of the Procedure
This should be regarded as a permanent sterilisation procedure. The vas deferens (tubes draining sperm from the testes) are divided, ligated and placed in separate tissue planes to prevent passage of any further sperm from the testes mixing with the semen, produced by the seminal vesicles. It is performed via 2 small incisions on either side of the scrotum.
As this procedure should be considered a permanent sterilisation procedure, it is important that you have discussed this with your partner and you are both happy not to have any further children. It is preferable (though, not essential) to discuss the surgery with both of you present.
You will be admitted on the day of the procedure and usually the operation is performed under a general anaesthetic. You should continue to take your usual medications unless directed otherwise by your Urologist or his anaesthetist. Please inform us if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood thinning) medication.
Expected post-operative recovery
You be able to go home on the same day as the surgery. There will be two small incisions with dressings over them. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the skin, so no sutures will need removing; they just fall out between 7 to 14 days. You should not notice any change to the ejaculate volume.
Before given the ‘all clear’ you will need to perform a post-vasectomy semen analysis. This is done approximately 3 months after the surgery and after at least 20 ejaculates. In about 1 in 10 patients, this may need be repeated a month later if the sperm numbers do not fall to an undetectable level. Until the ‘all clear’ has been given, you will need to rely on other methods of contraception.
Risks – as per your discussion with your Urologist
Bruising / haematoma
Sperm granuloma – nodule at end of divided vas (sometimes painful), seen in 10-30%
Failure – Early 1/500, Late (spontaneous re-canalisation) 1/5000
Orchalgia (painful testis) - short term 5-10%, long term 1/1000
Reversal success – diminishes to less than 20% after 10-15 years