Vasectomies can be done one of two ways: the incision method or the no-scalpel method. These surgeries are usually performed in your urologist’s office and usually take about 30 minutes. Both procedures result in the cutting of the vas deferens, or the tubes that carry sperm from the scrotum to the semen.
This method uses small cuts in the vas deferens to stop sperm from moving from the testicles to the urethra. Your urologist will first numb the scrotum with a local anesthetic. Then, 1 or 2 small cuts are made in the skin of the scrotum to reach the vas deferens. There are usually vas deferens tubes, one for each testicle. The doctor performing the vasectomy will cut the vas deferens tubes, leaving a small gap in the tube. This may be done with one cut or two. Next, the vas deferens is sealed with stitches or searing, to help the cut heal. In some cases, the cuts may be allowed to close on their own. Once the vas deferens have been cut, sperm can no longer reach semen, and is unable to be ejaculated from the body. Instead, the body absorbs the sperm, which is harmless.
A no-scalpel vasectomy requires more training and skill than the conventional method, but has been known to reduce risk of hematomas, bleeding, bruising, and pain. Again, a local anesthesia is used to reduce sensation and pain. The doctor performing the no-scalpel vasectomy feels for the vas tubes under the skin of the scrotum. A clamp is used to hold the vas in place. A small hole is made in the skin of the scrotum, and then is stretched out. The vas deferens are then gently lifted out of the scrotum, cut, tied, and placed back in the scrotum.
The conventional vasectomy uses small cuts in the scrotum to reach the vas, where the no-scalpel method uses a sharp, forceps-like tool to make a small puncture in the scrotum. Both ways are very minor, low-risk surgeries. The no-scalpel method leads to 5x fewer infections, and hematomas (blood clots that cause swelling). It is also the quicker, and less painful.