No More Snips
A vasectomy with no needles or scalpels?
Forget what you feared about vasectomies: They’ve become much less invasive. Michael A. Werner, MD, of Maze Men’s Sexual and Reproductive Health in Purchase, uses a procedure that eschews scalpels and needles.
“In a traditional vasectomy, the urologist grabs the structures in the spermatic cord between two large clamps,” explains Werner. “The skin between them is cut, then the vas deferens is separated out and cut. In a no-scalpel vasectomy, the vas deferens is pushed up against the skin. After anesthesia has been given, it is grabbed through the skin with a small ring-shaped clamp. So only the vas deferens and a small amount of tissue around it is isolated, rather than the whole cord.”
Werner says that a sharp clamp is then used to make a small hole in the skin, from which the vas deferens is pulled out, divided, cauterized, and the two sides isolated from each other prior to their placement back in the scrotum. “The incision is so small that most patients cannot find it,” says Werner. “No stitches are needed.”
Werner adds that the no-scalpel “open-ended” vasectomy offers other benefits, too, including a shorter procedure time, less pain, often no stitches, and fewer postoperative complaints.
Rare complications include Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome, in which men experience pain from pressure building in the testes. “An open-ended vasectomy is thought to significantly reduce” this, however, says Werner. “It also makes a vasectomy easier to reverse.”