Vasectomy is the surgical procedure for permanent male sterilisation.
During ejaculation, sperm is combined with other fluids to make up the ejaculate. The volume made up by the sperm is only one per cent and so there is no noticeable change in the volume of ejaculate after a vasectomy procedure. Some weeks after the procedure, the reserve of sperm in the seminal vesicles will gradually deplete and then infertility is achieved. The doctor will provide pathology forms for sample testing to be done eight weeks after the procedure. It takes this long for the reservoir of sperm to deplete.
Sex drive remains unaltered. The levels of male hormone (testosterone) are unaffected by the operation as this hormone is carried by the blood stream directly from the testis.
The procedure reliability is very good and the late failure rate (tubes spontaneously re-joining) is about 1 in 1,000.
Before the procedure
Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic which you should start taking the morning of the procedure. You can eat, drink and shower as normal. Please shave the whole area including above and below, so the hair does not get in the way. Do not use hair removal cream as it will burn.
Please bring two pairs of briefs for support (not boxers). This will prevent swelling and soreness. Wear these for about two weeks after the procedure, even in bed at night, for support.
You will remain awake throughout the procedure. Pain relief is via local anaesthetic. The doctor will make a very small incision into the scrotum using a scalpel to cut the vas deferens. The incision site is stitched.
Payment is due at the time of surgery using exact cash or EFTPOS. A Medicare rebate is available.
You will receive a script for painkillers, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics. It is important that you take all the medication until the courses are finished. You will be given Panadeine Forte for a few days for pain relief if you need it. It will show up as a narcotic on a drugs test. By the time you return to work, it should be out of your system. You will also be given Brufen which is an anti-inflammatory. This is to be taken for about 10 days. It does not show up in a drugs test and does not affect reflexes.
Some swelling, bruising and pain is normal. You will need to shower when you get home to remove the excess Betadine, and thereafter you can shower as normal. Do not go swimming. You do not need to use antiseptic creams or lotions.
Minimise lifting over the next few days and avoid strenuous activity. Take about three days off and do nothing. A lot of healing takes place quickly, so leave the site undisturbed. Sexual activity can resume when you feel comfortable. The stitches are dissolvable so you can expect them to disappear in about one week.
A nurse will review you in-centre after two weeks. In about two months, you will send a semen sample to the QML Pathology Laboratory at the Gasworks on Shakespeare Street. We will give you a container with instructions; please read them carefully as there are specific guidelines for collection. This pathology is bulk billed. Semen samples must be sent for testing until they are clear. You must use another form of contraception until confirmation of a zero sperm count on your semen analysis.
Before the procedure
Please shave your scrotum in the days leading up to your procedure and wash thoroughly with soap and water the morning of. Please do not take aspirin, anti-inflammatories, or fish oil in the week prior to your procedure as these can increase bruising.
You should plan three days off work for recovery time. Should you have a complication such as excessive bruising, you may need several weeks to recover. You may drive yourself to and from the centre unless you are having medication for sedation, in which case you need a driver. Partners are welcome to sit in.
If you are likely to suffer excessive anxiety during the procedure, we can provide sedation via oral medication. This needs to be discussed at your first consultation.
You will remain awake throughout the procedure. Pain relief is via local anaesthetic. Two to three centimetres of tube are removed from each side. The top ends of the tubes are cauterised, and the bottom ends are left open.
After the procedure
Men generally tolerate the procedure very well and are surprised how little pain they experienced. It is prudent to rest for the first 24 hours and then take things quietly for the next two days. Some pain over these three days is not unusual and you may use simple analgesia such as paracetamol or an ice pack for pain relief.
Some bruising visible under the skin is not uncommon but please report any excessive bruising. Showering and normal bathing is fine. You should avoid strenuous physical activity for five days after your procedure, longer if you are uncomfortable.
Men generally tolerate the operation very well and are surprised how little pain they endured. Pain relief is via local anaesthetic.
It is prudent to rest for the first 24 hours and then take things quietly for the next two days. Some pain over these three days is not unusual and you may use simple analgesia such as paracetamol or codeine for pain relief.
You should consider a vasectomy as non-reversible as we cannot guarantee that an individual can undergo reversal successfully. In general, reversal is successful in the first 10 years after vasectomy, but the success rate drops after that. The cost of reversal is several thousand dollars. Our centre does not perform reversal procedures. You should ask your GP for a referral to see an appropriate surgeon. Using IVF techniques, one sperm obtained by testicular biopsy can be injected into an egg to achieve pregnancy. There is a cost involved in this treatment.
Vasectomy surgery usually takes about 10 to 30 minutes.
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