No-scalpel vasectomy at Exeter Medical
Exeter Medical offers a no-scalpel vasectomy service available to NHS patients across East Devon. The vasectomy service is delivered by Dr Craig Barker B.Sc.(Hons), MB.ChB., DFFP., MANSV who specialises in the new ‘no-scalpel’ vasectomy technique, having performed over 2,500 such procedures to date in Plymouth and Mid-Devon. Dr Barker is a member of the Association of No Scalpel Vasectomists (MANSV).
Appointments are available via the Devon Referral Support Services (DRSS) on selecting ‘Choose and Book’. Dr Barker is also happy to see patients on a private basis.
What is a Vasectomy?
Vasectomy is the division of the vas deferens, the tubes that carry a man’s sperm from his testicles. Vasectomy prevents sperm from being added to the man’s ejaculation fluid (semen); therefore, he can no longer make a woman pregnant. The sperm containing fluid that is blocked by vasectomy constitutes only 3% of a man’s semen volume, the rest comes from the seminal vesicle so afterwards a man will not notice any changes in his semen, or ejaculation.
What is the No-scalpel vasectomy (NSV)?
No-scalpel vasectomy was developed in China by Dr. Shunqiang Li in 1974. There are now approx. 500,000 performed in the US annually, and 70,000 in the UK. No-scalpel vasectomy is now the recommended technique in the UK as recommended by the Faculty of Reproductive and Sexual Health guidelines in 2014, owing to its significantly lower complications than a standard (traditional technique) vasectomy. It is a safe, minimally invasive procedure, usually performed under local anaesthetic with a low complication rate. Over 15 million men have undergone the NSV procedure worldwide since 1974.
What are the benefits of No-scalpel vasectomy?
The benefits of no-scalpel vasectomy are:
- Less discomfort.
- Ten times fewer complications than conventional (scalpel) vasectomy technique.
- No stitches needed.
- Quicker, typically taking 20 to 30 minutes.
What is different about a No-scalpel vasectomy?
No-scalpel vasectomy is different from a conventional vasectomy in the way the doctor approaches the vas deferens. Furthermore, an improved method of anaesthesia helps make the procedure much less painful.
In a no-scalpel vasectomy, once the anaesthetic has been administered the doctor feels for the vas deferens under the skin and once it is isolated the doctor makes one tiny puncture, typically 7mm long. Top-up anaesthetic is added at every stage. The tubes are then cauterised in a specific way, and the skin is then glued together, barely leaving a visible scar. There is very little bleeding with the no-scalpel technique.
Is No-scalpel vasectomy safe?
All surgery has some risk such as bleeding, bruising, and infection. These are very low, and will be discussed with you prior to the operation. Serious problems rarely occur.
Is No-scalpel vasectomy painful?
The no-scalpel vasectomy is quick, and an almost painless procedure using a very fine needle to numb the skin; however, once it takes effect you should feel no sharp pain, and the surgeon will ask at every stage if you are comfortable. Some men feel a slight “tugging” sensation during the procedure.
Will it hurt after No-scalpel vasectomy?
After surgery you may be a little sore for a few days, but paracetamol and/or ibuprofen is usually sufficient. Typically five day’s rest is enough time for recovery before men can return to work and most normal, non-strenuous physical activity. Sex can usually be resumed 10-14 days after the procedure
You will be provided with complete instructions about what to do after surgery.
How can I be sure I need a vasectomy?
You must be absolutely sure that you don’t want to father a child under any circumstances. Vasectomy should be considered a PERMANENT method of contraception.
A vasectomy might not be right for you if you are very young, your current relationship is not stable, you are having the vasectomy just to please your partner, you are under a lot of stress, or you are counting on being able to reverse the procedure later.
Will a vasectomy change me sexually?
The only thing that will change is that you will not be able to make your partner pregnant. Your body will continue to produce testosterone, “the hormone that make you a man”. You will produce the same amount of semen. Vasectomy won’t change your beard, your muscles, your sex drive, your erections, or your climaxes. Some men say that following a vasectomy, without the worry of accidental pregnancy sex is more relaxed and enjoyable than before.
How will vasectomy affect me?
Vasectomy only interrupts the vas deferens that carry sperm from the testes to where they are added to your semen. It does not alter a man’s sensation of orgasm and pleasure. Your penis and your testes are not altered in any way. The operation has no noticeable impact on the man’s ability to perform sexually, nor does it affect the balance of male hormones, male sex characteristics, or sex drive. As always, testosterone continues to be produced in the testes and delivered into the blood stream. Your body still produces semen, and erections and ejaculations occur normally. As before, the body naturally absorbs unused sperm. The patient will not feel any different physically from the way he felt before.
Will I be sterile right away?
No. After a vasectomy, there are always some active sperm left in your system. It takes at least 20 ejaculations to clear them. You and your partner should use some other form of birth control until your semen is tested and we inform you it is free of sperm. Semen will not be tested until 16 weeks after the procedure.
Can I discontinue other birth control methods right away?
No. Sperm can remain in the vas deferens above the operation site for weeks or even months after vasectomy. You will not be considered sterile until a single post-vasectomy semen analyses shows that no sperm remain in your ejaculate. We will give you instructions for post-vasectomy semen testing. Until then, you must continue to use other birth control methods to prevent pregnancy.
What are the cost?
Private non-scalpel vasectomy cost £550.
Private non-scalpel vasectomy with sedation cost £775.
Men are great at “banter”, and we have heard them all. “They use two bricks”, “you will walk like John Wayne”, “that’s the end of your sex life”, “you will be bruised from nipple to knee” and many more.
The reality is that most men are surprised how quick and easy the procedure is, and resume normal life within a few days afterwards.
The internet has lots of horror stories, please ignore them.