*
Male Reproductive Anatomy  
male reproductive organs

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Definition  

Sperm passes from the testes to the penis in tubes called the vas deferens. A vasectomy is a surgery that blocks these tubes. This makes a man unable to make a woman pregnant.

*

Reasons for Procedure  

The surgery is done to make you sterile. This means that you are unable to cause a pregnancy.

A vasectomy is done as permanent birth control. This option is for men who are sure they will not want to father a child in the future. There is a surgery to reverse a vasectomy. However, the reverse is not always successful.

*

Possible Complications  

If you are planning to have a vasectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications with you, which may include:

  • Infection
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Chronic pain in and around the testes
  • Sperm granuloma (lumps due to immune system response to sperm leaking from the reproductive organs)
  • Ability to still make a woman pregnant

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Smoking
  • Local infections
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Prior surgery in that area
*
Conventional Approach  
vasectomy

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

What to Expect  

Prior to Procedure  

Your doctor may do the following:

  • Physical exam
  • Medical history
  • Review of medicines
  • Discuss the effects of this procedure

Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure. These include:

  • Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)

In the days leading up to your procedure:

  • Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Take any medicine as ordered by your doctor. A mild sedative before the procedure may be recommended.
  • Shower before leaving home.
  • You may be asked to clip your scrotal hair.

Anesthesia  

Local anesthesia will be used. It will numb the area. You may also be given medication to help you relax.

Conventional Approach  
vasectomy

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Description of the Procedure  

There are three techniques for a vasectomy:

  • Conventional approach—One small cut will be made in the skin on each side of the scrotum. The vas deferens will be pulled through the openings. The tubes will then be cut. A small piece of the tubes may also be removed. The ends of the tube will be sealed off with stitches, clips, or an electrical pulse. The vas deferens will then be placed back into the scrotum. The incision will be closed with stitches.
  • No-scalpel vasectomy—The doctor will locate the vas deferens under the scrotal skin. A clamp will be attached to hold it in place. A special tool will be used to punch a small hole in the skin. The hole will be