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Different Options for Vasectomy Procedures

Know Your Options: Different Vasectomy Procedures

While previously limited to scalpel procedures, there are now a number of different vasectomy procedures that men can choose from. At Queensland Vasectomy, we guide men through the options, to help them make an informed decision about what vasectomy procedure is best for them. Queensland men can enjoy the best possible vasectomy care at our clinics in Brisbane and around the state.

Vasectomies have come a long way in the past 10 years, with new techniques and procedures now offering far greater choice. Although there are a number of different vasectomy procedures, at Queensland Vasectomy, we opt for the least invasive approach, offering no scalpel open-ended procedures. This can mean a quicker recovery time with less discomfort, than older, more invasive techniques. These cutting edge techniques offer you world-class vasectomy care right here in Queensland.

What is a vasectomy procedure?

A vasectomy is quite simply a procedure where the tubes carrying sperm are severed.  This stops the sperm from exiting the body and causing a pregnancy.  A vasectomy takes around 20 minutes in an office clinic and most men are able to drive themselves home, requiring a day or two of rest for a complete recovery. There are a lot of different vessels inside a man’s scrotum but only the tube carrying sperm, the vas deferens, is cut. This means that, while you will still be able to ejaculate, the actual sperm itself does not leave the body. And while there are different vasectomy procedures, in every procedure it will take at least 20 ejaculations to empty the vas deferens of residual sperm. During this time men should continue alternative contraception.

Different Vasectomy Procedures

Equipment

Anyone can cut the vas deferens but it takes an expert to only cut the vas deferens.  The tubes are tiny and the best vasectomy doctors often use a pair of microscopic glasses to separate any other tissue away from the tubes. Some doctors use a physical microscope but, at Vasectomy Queensland, we use a pair of surgical loupes as they are more manoeuvrable and don’t require constant adjusting.  That is more of an equipment issue than a strictly different vasectomy procedure but it nonetheless makes a difference.

Traditional method

In a traditional vasectomy, which is the most basic of vasectomy techniques, a small window is made on each side of the scrotum with a one to two cm incision. This allows the doctor to see all the vessels inside which combine to make the spermatic cord.  The doctor is then able to isolate the vas deferens, put two sutures on the tube (about one cm apart) and remove the middle section of the vas. The window on the skin usually requires one or two sutures to close.  There is nothing wrong with this technique.  Although there are different vasectomy procedures a traditional vasectomy is more forgiving if a person’s anatomy is slightly tricky and does not require as much practice.  If your vasectomy doctor only does a few vasectomies a month or a year, they should stick to this technique.  The complication rates are still very low and recovery is straightforward.

“During a no-scalpel vasectomy, the doctor is able to gently move the single vas deferens tube to the skin while leaving all the other tubes deeper in the scrotum.”

A new level of innovation: open ended vasectomies

A minor, yet important innovation on the traditional vasectomy technique is to leave the testicular (or bottom) end of the tube open. That is, not to put a suture in the tube. This allows sperm to freely flow out of the tube so there is no chance of sperm building up and causing pressure in the epididymis.  All vasectomies have a chance of rejoining but leaving the bottom end open does not increase the risk.  When deciding between different vasectomy procedures make sure your doctor performs an open-ended vasectomy.  Almost every vasectomist providing vasectomy in Brisbane should provide open-ended vasectomies.

The Marie Stopes method

The Marie Stopes vasectomy is a type of vasectomy procedure.  It is simpler for the doctor but has a higher failure rate.  There are a number of different vasectomy procedures and during a Marie Stopes technique, the vas deferens is burnt with a cautery alone.  The tube is not cut and there is no layer of tissue acting as a barrier between the two tips.  This is an appropriate procedure in low-resource countries such as India. 

 Fascial interposition

The next innovation beyond leaving the testicular end of the vas open, was to have a barrier between the tips of the vas deferens. This greatly decreases the chance of the tubes rejoining. The name of this step is called fascial interposition. This step can be performed with a suture or titanium clip.  Mostly it comes down to doctor preference and both have their advantages and disadvantages.  This can be a tricky step to get right and so some doctors who only do a few vasectomies, may not include fascial interposition. Not including a fascial interposition means the chance of the tubes rejoining is still low, but the failure rate is higher.  Every Vasectomy Queensland procedure includes fascial interposition.  This is in our Vasectomy Brisbane clinic or any of our regional visiting clinics.

No scalpel vasectomy

There are a lot of names for the modern vasectomy technique but it is most commonly called a no-scalpel vasectomy.  It is also called a laser or minimally-invasive vasectomy.  Even though the names are different it is not actually a different vasectomy procedure.

“During a no-scalpel vasectomy, the doctor is able to gently move the single vas deferens tube to the skin while leaving all the other tubes deeper in the scrotum.”

With the tube in place just below the skin, performing the vasectomy is like putting a drip into a blood vessel. Then the tube is released back into place and the other vas deferens can be moved across into the same place on the skin.  The healing is a lot quicker than different vasectomy procedures but to do it properly requires a lot of practice. As a vasectomy specialist, who offers only vasectomy, I do more than 50 of these procedures a week. 

Vasectomies have come a long way in the 150 years that they have been performed. Different vasectomy procedures all have their role depending on the surgeon’s specialisation in vasectomy and the location where they are taking place. If you have gotten this far you probably know that the gold standard of vasectomy techniques is an open-ended, no-scalpel vasectomy with fascial interposition.

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