Conventional vs. No-Scalpel Vasectomy

[Photo:MFCap12, Caption: No stitches are required for a No-Scalpel Vasectomy. The tiny puncture in the skin is covered with a bandaid after surgery.]

What happens during a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a procedure that blocks both sperm ducts, called the vas deferens, (see diagram) which transport the sperm from the epididymis (where the sperm are stored) up through the prostate to the back of the urethra during an ejaculation.

[photo: MFCap5]

97% of the fluid that comes out during an ejaculation is made in the prostate and seminal vesicles. Only three percent of the fluid comes from the testicle and epididymis, but this contains all of the sperm.

The easiest way of eliminating the sperm but leaving everything else the same is to interrupt the vas deferens. The easiest place to do this is in the scrotum because the vas is directly under the skin.

Innovation: The No Scalpel Vasectomy

This technique was developed in China approximately 20 years ago. In China, men must be sterilized after they father a child in order to qualify for government assistance. This led to a need for a quick and simple method of vasectomy with a short recovery time since almost every man gets sterilized at some point for population control.

Conventional or No Scalpel Vasectomy?

Both procedures are outpatient procedures, performed in the surgeon’s office, using a local anesthetic. But that’s where the similarities end. Compare the details of these two procedures, and you will understand why most men prefer the No-Scalpel method.

Conventional Vasectomy

No-Scalpel Vasectomy

The standard technique for this procedure requires the doctor to make an incision or cut in the scrotal skin. No cut is made in the scrotal skin. The technique of no-scalpel vasectomy uses a special instrument to grasp the vas through the scrotal skin and hold it in place directly under the skin.
The surgeon then must find the vas and surgically separate it from the other structures in the spermatic cord. Another instrument is used to make a small perforation in the skin over the vas and spread the tissue. The vas is then pulled up and all the tissue around it is cleaned off. This is an important step because all the nerves must be moved away from the vas before it is clipped.
The vas is then tied off with sutures, cut and the ends separated. Once the vas is clear then titanium clips are placed to block the vas. The vas is cut and cauterized between the clips and then separated. A small segment is removed to prevent the vas from growing back together.
The skin incision is then stitched back together. The vas is then placed back into the scrotum and the perforation is sealed without the need for sutures. A bandaid is placed.
Procedure takes about 30 minutes. Procedure takes 10 minutes.
Men report more pain and recover less quickly. Men report less pain and recover more quickly.
Complications: 5-10%. Bleeding, scarring, infection. May make reversal difficult should that be wanted in the future. Complications: Less than 1%. No bleeding or scarring.

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