How is a vasectomy done?

There are 2 main techniques for performing vasectomy, but all of them block or cut the 2 tubes, called the vas deferens, that carry sperm cells from the testicles: 
  • Conventional vasectomy. In this approach, a physician makes 1 or 2 small cuts in the skin of the scrotum, which has been numbed with a local anesthetic. The vas deferens is cut, and a small piece may be removed. Next, the doctor ties or clips the cut ends and sews up the scrotal incision. The procedure is then repeated on the other side.
  • No-scalpel vasectomy. An improved vasectomy method, devised by a Chinese surgeon, has been widely used in China since 1974. This so-called nonsurgical or no-scalpel vasectomy was introduced into the United States in 1988, and many doctors are now using the technique here.
We use a refinement of the no-scalpel method that doesn’t involve any needles at all. An instrument called a MadaJet delivers a stream of anesthetic so fine that it penetrates the skin and numbs a dime-sized patch of scrotal skin.

Then the doctor feels for the vas under the skin of the scrotum and holds it in place with a small clamp. A special instrument is used to make a tiny puncture in the skin and stretch the opening so the vas can be cut and tied. This approach produces very little bleeding, and no stitches are needed to close the punctures, which heal quickly by themselves. The newer method also produces less pain and fewer complications than conventional vasectomy.

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