It’s natural to have questions when considering a vasectomy, but talking with your doctor and learning how it’s done can help reduce anxiety and allow you to have a smoother recovery. Here’s a general description on what to expect at each step of the vasectomy procedure.
Preparing for a Vasectomy Procedure
In order to be prepared for a vasectomy procedure, most patients start preparing about a week in advance. Patients need to have their medications monitored. In order to reduce the risk of bleeding, you’ll be asked to stop taking aspirin and other blood-thinning medications. Some of the medications to discuss with your doctor include heparin and warfarin (Coumadin), as well as over-the-counter drugs nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®, etc.) and supplements such as fish oil and vitamin E.
Some clothing you should pack includes a pair of tight-fitting underwear or an athletic supporter to wear after the vasectomy procedure. Loose-fitting pants are also recommended.
Some patients can get nervous or tense before surgery so your doctor might prescribe medication about an hour before the procedure to help you relax. It’s also important to make arrangements for someone else to drive you home due to the anesthesia and/or medications you will have in your system.
The Vasectomy Procedure: Steps Involved
Your doctor will schedule your vasectomy procedure for an hour, but the procedure itself takes only 20-30 minutes. Some vasectomy procedures involve different steps, but in general you should expect the following:
Prepping: Shortly after you arrive at your doctor’s office, the prep nurse will wash your scrotum and may also shave it if you haven’t already done so.
Anxiety relief: If you’re feeling nervous, your doctor may give you medication, either orally or intravenously, to help you relax. This drug could make you sleepy and may make it difficult to remember the procedure.
Pre-Surgery: The surgeon will use a very small needle or a jet anesthetic (also known as a no-needle vasectomy procedure) to apply anesthetic. The anesthetic will numb only the area around the tube that carries the sperm, the vas deferens.
Surgery: The surgeon will first locate the vas deferens, make one or two small incisions in the upper part of your scrotum, then pull out a small loop of the vas deferens, cut it and often remove a small section. Some patients feel a small tugging sensation. If the surgeon cuts the vas tube, the ends of the vas deferens will be sealed by stitching, tying or cauterizing it. Then it will be placed back into the scrotum and the incision will be stitched up. The whole process only leaves a tiny scar.
What to Expect After the Vasectomy Procedure and Recovery
Most patients are able to go home soon after the vasectomy is completed. You will need a ride home and help for about a week with tasks such as heavy lifting.
After the vasectomy procedure, your scrotum will be numb for 1-2 hours due to the anesthesia. Once the local anesthetic wears off, you may feel some pain or discomfort. Some minor bruising and swelling can also last for several days. Your doctor will usually discharge you with medication that can help with the pain and swelling.
Some guidelines that can help speed recovery and reduce discomfort include:
- As much bed rest for 2-3 days after surgery.
- Avoid heavy lifting, sports and physical work for the first week.
- No bathing or swimming for 24-48 hours.
- Wear a jockstrap or snug underwear for at least 48 hours after surgery to reduce unnecessary movement of your testicles.
- Apply cold packs throughout the day to the area for a few days following surgery to prevent or reduce swelling.
- Seek medical treatment immediately if you have a fever, increased pain or swelling or see signs of an infection, such as blood or pus leaking from the incision.
Making the choice to have a vasectomy can be life altering procedure and should include a medical consultation before reaching a final decision. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your options with the best vasectomy surgeon in NYC.