Vasectomy & Vasectomy Reversal

My mind has changed. My strength has not.
Kamahl

Vasectomy is a form of contraception that involves surgically cutting or blocking the tubes that transport sperm from the testicles to the penis.

When men undergo a vasectomy the tube that carries his sperm from the testicles is blocked or cut, preventing sperm from joining with the semen that is ejaculated from the penis. Since the sperm can no longer reach the semen, the seminal fluid that is ejaculated during sex does not contain sperm – which is needed to fertilize a woman’s egg.

A vasectomy is an effective and permanent means of preventing pregnancy. It is estimated that only one out of every 2,000 men who receive a vasectomy will impregnate a woman during their lives.

Most vasectomies are less than 30 minutes to perform. Because the procedure is minimally invasive most men do not experience significant pain.

Before a vasectomy it is important to consider the consequences and fully understand that after the procedure it is nearly impossible to father any children. According to the National Institutes of Health1 “Vasectomy can sometimes be reversed, but not always”. And it is a major surgery to try and reverse the vasectomy, so consider carefully.

You can have a vasectomy at any age. But younger adults should consider carefully whether they may want to have children when they are older.

Before:

The day of the vasectomy, please go to register at the Admitting Department on the main floor of the Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Ave.

The vasectomies are performed in the “Minor Procedure Unit” on the 4th floor Room 476 of Mount Sinai Hospital.   The admitting staff will direct you to the location for your vasectomy when you register.

Dr Jarvi will see you in the procedure area to discuss the vasectomy procedure and the risks of the vasectomy.  All procedures have complications, but the risks of a vasectomy are quite low and remember that a vasectomy is not guaranteed to make you sterile [remember you will be require to have 2 follow up semen analyses, one at 3 months, one at 4 months].  If you agree to proceed, you will then need to sign a consent authorizing Dr Jarvi to perform the vasectomy.

  • Don’t take aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen for 2 weeks before surgery. These medications can cause bleeding after the procedure. Also, tell your doctor if you take any medications, supplements, or herbal remedies.
  • Tell your doctor if you’ve had any prior scrotal surgery.
  • Arrange for an adult family member or friend to give you a ride home after surgery.
  • Shower and clean your scrotum the day of surgery. Your doctor may also ask you to shave your scrotum.
  • Bring an athletic supporter (jockstrap) or pair of snug cotton briefs to the hospital.
  • Eat no more than a light snack before surgery.

The Procedure:

The entire procedure usually lasts less than 30 minutes.

  • You’ll be asked to undress and lie on a table.
  • You may be given medication to help you relax. To prevent pain during surgery, you’ll be given an injection of local anesthetic in your scrotum or lower groin.
  • Once the area is numb, one or two small incisions are made in the scrotum. This will be done with a pointed clamp (no-scalpel method).
  • The vas deferens are lifted through the incision and cut. The ends of the vas are then sealed off using one of several methods.
  • The incision is covered by a small bandage.
  • You can rest for a while until you’re ready to go home.

Recovery:

For about a week, your scrotum may look bruised and slightly swollen. You may also have a small amount of bloody discharge from the incision. This is normal.

To help make your recovery more comfortable, follow the tips below.

  • Stay off your feet as much as possible for the first 2 days. Try to lie flat on a bed or sofa with legs up on 2 pillows each to decrease swelling of the vasectomy sites.
  • Wear an athletic supporter or snug cotton briefs for support.
  • Reduce swelling by placing an ice pack or bag of frozen peas in a thin towel. Then place the towel on your scrotum, 10 minutes on, 30 minutes off.
  • Take medications with acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) to relieve any discomfort. Don’t use aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
  • Wait 48 hours before bathing.
  • Avoid heavy lifting or exercise for 2-3 weeks.

Ask your doctor how long to wait before having sex again. Remember: You must use another form of birth control until you’re completely sterile [3-6months].

Book Appointments:

  • While the vasectomy is 99% effective, you will need to continue using other forms of birth control until 2 sperm tests performed at 3 months and 4 months after the procedure confirm that the vasectomy was successful.  To arrange the sperm tests call 416-581-0000 for those appointments.
  • We will see you in the office in approximately 5 months to review the results of the 2 sperm tests. Call Men’s Health Institute at 416-581-0000 to book.

When to seek medical care:

Call your doctor if you notice any of the following after surgery:

  • Increasing pain or swelling in your scrotum
  • A large black-and-blue area, or a growing lump
  • Fever or chills
  • Increasing redness or drainage of the incision
  • Trouble urinating