of General Surgery
1. What is
A vasectomy is an operation that is done on a man as a permanent
method of contraception. A vasectomy is designed to make the man
permanently sterile (unable to father children) without impairing the enjoyment
of sexual intercourse in any way. Unlike a condom, a vasectomy DOES NOT protect against sexually
transmitted diseases such as AIDS.
2. What does the operation
is usually done as a day case procedure in the day surgical unit of your local
hospital. A vasectomy can be performed under local or general anaesthetic. You
should discuss which is best for you when you see the specialist in the
outpatient clinic before your operation. The operation involves making two small
incisions in the scrotum, removing a small part of the tube (the vas) that
carries the sperm from the testicle and tying the ends of the vas to prevent leakage of the
sperm. The skin incisions are closed with absorbable stitches.
after the vasectomy?
vasectomy is not usually painful and the wounds heal quickly. Most
men are able to go back to normal activities in a couple of days. Strenuous work
or exercise should be avoided for about a week and it is usually more
comfortable to wear firm rather than loose underwear. It is important to know
that you are NOT sterile immediately after the vasectomy operation as it takes
several weeks for the "tubes" to clear. After the operation you
should continue with your usual contraceptive methods. The hospital will
arrange for sperm count tests to be performed at intervals after the operation.
Other contraceptive measures can only be stopped AFTER these tests have been done
and you have been notified by the laboratory.
4. Will I need to come back to hospital after the operation?
No, the sperm counts can be done as an
outpatient. Complications after vasectomy are uncommon but if you have
problems you should consult your GP who will decide if you need to see the
specialist again. There is no known increased risk of cancer
of the testicle after a vasectomy.
the operation fail?
but it is very uncommon. There are two ways a vasectomy operation can fail: