Vasectomy

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Vasectomy is a minor surgical procedure wherein the vasa deferentia of a man are severed, and then tied/sealed in a manner which prevents sperm from entering the seminal stream (ejaculate). Vasectomy should not be confused with castration (male), which is the surgical removal of the testicle(s).

Contents

Procedure

Usually done in an outpatient setting, a traditional vasectomy involves numbing (local anesthetic) of the scrotum after which one or two small incisions are made, allowing a surgeon to gain access to the vas deferens of each testicle. The vasa deferentia are cut and sealed by tying, stitching, cauterization (burning), or otherwise clamped to prevent sperm from entering the seminal stream.

Variations

Variations in how a vasectomy is performed can be employed to help increase success rates, reduce healing times, help lower chances of infection, and attempt to decrease the chance of post-vasectomy pain syndrome (PVPS). The goal however is always the same, preventing sperm from entering into a man's ejaculate.

With conventional vasectomy, the surgeon uses a scalpel to make a small incision on each side of the scrotum, allowing access to each vas deferens. The vas deferens is severed, and usually a small piece removed. It is then tied-off and/or cauterized to make the seal. The surgeon (and/or patient) may elect to forgo some of the "traditional" methods in favor of newer variations as described below.

To help prevent re canalization of the vas deferens, the patient may opt for Fascial Interposition. Fascial Interposition is the "positioning" of the producing end of the vas deferens to the outside of the fascia. The Fascia is a fibrous protective sheath (casing) which surrounds the vas deferens. By sewing one end of the vas deferens to the outside of this sheath, (while leaving the other end inside), this makes it difficult if not impossible for reattaching or re canalization of the vas deferens.

Biological implications

Vasectomy essentially ensures that the patient will be sterile after surgery. The procedure is regarded by the medical profession as permanent because vasectomy reversal is costly and often does not restore the pre-vasectomy condition. Men with vasectomies have a very small chance of making a woman pregnant, but they will still have exactly the same risk of contracting and spreading sexually transmitted diseases.

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