Each week we are highlighting a service Huon Medical Group provides to the community. This week we explore vasectomies with Dr Dora von Conrady.

What is a vasectomy?

A vasectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that divides the tube (vas), which carries sperm from the testicle, in order to achieve sterilisation. There are 2 vasa (tubes), one coming from each testicle. 

It is a permanent, reliable and safe form of contraception. A vasectomy will not affect the volume of ejaculatory fluid or your libido. 

How is it done?

While a vasectomy is a safe, effective and reliable procedure, it is not right for everyone. A vasectomy at our practice requires at least 3 visits. 

1️⃣Your initial visit takes about 30 minutes and will involve an in depth consultation about your individual situation. 

🩺A genital examination will be necessary to assess whether local anaesthetic is the right option for you. While most men can have a vasectomy with a local anaesthetic, some men would benefit from a general anaesthetic, and your doctor will advise you of this. 

✅Following this assessment, both you and your doctor need to feel confident that this is the right procedure for you. It is completely fine to take some time to think things over following this consultation. 

2️⃣Your second visit will be for the vasectomy procedure. Dr von Conrady uses a no scalpel technique. 

🛁We ask you to have a bath or shower before the procedure.

🪒Please shave your scrotum.

💉A small amount of local anaesthetic is injected into a small patch of skin on the scrotum. The needle we use is very fine and most men find the injection to be quite acceptable. Following the injection, you may feel pressure but should not feel any pain. It is something your doctor will be monitoring for during the procedure to ensure that you are comfortable.

✂️A small hole is made in the numb skin of the scrotum and one vas is brought out through that hole and cut (images 1 & 2). Then the other vas is brought out through the same small hole and also divided. Sometimes it is not possible to do the operation using one hole and your doctor may need to make a second small hole. 

🩹You will have some adhesive strips and a small dressing afterwards (image 3). Sometimes a small dissolving suture will be used. 

🕒This visit usually takes 30-60 minutes.

3️⃣Your third visit is about 2 weeks after your vasectomy. 

🧪At this time your doctor or nurse will check for any problems you may have had and supply you with a kit and instructions for semen analysis. Sperm can remain active in the tubes for several months, and the success of the vasectomy cannot be confirmed until a semen analysis has been done 3-4 months later. The vasectomy cannot be considered a success until that analysis has been done and is negative. 

📲Our staff will contact you with your results.

What are the risks and will it hurt?

A vasectomy is usually well tolerated, minimally invasive and safe. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are some risks. These include: 

♦️Vague discomfort in the area of the procedure and there may be a small lump for a few days

♦️Bruising

♦️Infection

♦️There may be blood in the ejaculatory fluid

♦️Serious complications are rare, but your doctor will discuss these in more detail with you during your initial appointment.

What happens afterwards?

🩲We advise you to wear firm fitting underwear day and night for a week and take it easy in the first few days. 

💊You may need to take some paracetamol or ibuprofen and apply an ice pack in the first 1-2 days. There may be a little bruising and swelling but this should be mild. 

🚶‍♂️Gentle exercise is recommended but avoid running or contact sports for the first month after the procedure. 

🛏You can resume sex once you feel comfortable but will need to have another form of contraception at first e.g. condoms, partner with contraception. 

Can it be reversed?

❓A vasectomy is considered to be a permanent method of contraception. 

While reversals can be attempted, they are often not successful and a vasectomy is not right for you if you are planning to have any future children. 

How much will it cost?

💲Vasectomy procedures cost $501.50, with $300 out of pocket.

✅You do not need to be a patient of Huon Medical Group to see Dr von Conrady about a vasectomy, and you do not need a referral.

For more information we recommend visiting https://www.mariestopes.org.au/vasectomy_patient_information-1803/ or calling us on 6264 2800.