A vasectomy is surgery to block the vas deferens, the tubes through which a man's sperm travels. After a vasectomy, sperm cannot move out of the testes. Men considering a vasectomy should feel certain they want to prevent future pregnancies. A man who has the procedure will be permanently sterile. In some instances a vasectomy can be surgically reversed, but the surgery is much more complex and not 100 percent reliable.
In a no-scalpel vasectomy, the procedure is completed through a very small puncture in the scrotal skin. With the area completely numb, the vas deferens are drawn out through the puncture site, then cauterized (blocked) one at a time. Because no incision is made, no stitches are needed. When the procedure is completed, a simple gauze bandage is placed loosely over the site.
Although a vasectomy takes only about 15 minutes to perform, you may be more comfortable having someone drive you home. To help reduce swelling, apply an ice pack to the area for 10 minutes at a time. You may also take aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen if needed for discomfort. Avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for about one week after the procedure.
Virginia Mason Franciscan Health offers vasectomy services at Virginia Mason Medical Center and at Virginia Mason Issaquah Medical Center and Virginia Mason Federal Way Medical Center. For more information about vasectomy services or to make an appointment, please call 206-223-6772.