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How is a vasectomy performed?

The procedure is performed in your doctor's office, an outpatient surgery center, or hospital. It takes less than a half hour and generally includes these steps:

  1. You undress from the waist down and wear a surgical gown over your lap.

  2. You will most likely recline on a procedure table. The urologist may move or tilt the table during your procedure. Some men prefer to stand during the procedure.

  3. A member of the surgical group shaves your scrotum if you have not already shaved it prior to the procedure.

  4. A member of the surgical group washes your scrotum with antiseptic solution to prevent infection.

  5. Your urologist injects your scrotum with local anesthesia to prevent you from feeling pain. However, you will still feel some pulling and tugging sensations during the procedure. You may also have a sedative to help you stay relaxed and comfortable.

  6. If you are having a conventional vasectomy, your urologist makes one or two small cuts in your scrotum. If you are having a no-scalpel vasectomy, your urologist feels your scrotum to find the vas deferens. A small puncture is made in the scrotum to access the vas deferens.

  7. Your urologist cuts out a small portion of the vas deferens and cauterizes (burns) and tie off the open ends.

  8. Your urologist stitches the incisions (or puncture) or may leave them to close on their own.

Will I feel pain?

Your comfort and relaxation is important to both you and your care team. A vasectomy may involve relatively minor pain when the anesthetic needle enters your scrotum, as well as some discomfort caused by slight tugging and pulling sensations during the procedure. Take a few long, deep breaths to help yourself relax. Tell a member of your healthcare team if the pain does not pass quickly.

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Aug 24, 2016

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

View Sources

Medical References

  1. Unintended Pregnancy Prevention: Vasectomy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/unintendedpregnancy/vasectomy.htm
  2. Vasectomy. American Urological Association. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=53
  3. Vasectomy: What to Expect. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/men/reproductive/195.html

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