No-Scalpel Vasectomy vs. Traditional Vasectomy – Main Difference

Since a no-scalpel vasectomy is less invasive than a traditional vasectomy, recovery times are shorter

Both no-scalpel and traditional vasectomies are effective means of birth control, but the main difference is how the surgeon accesses the vas deferens during the procedure. Since a no-scalpel vasectomy is less invasive than a traditional vasectomy, recovery times are shorter. 

Learn more about no-scalpel vasectomy vs. traditional vasectomy and what to expect with each type of procedure.

How does a vasectomy work?

A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that works to prevent sperm from leaving the penis during ejaculation:

  • The ejaculatory fluid consists of a mixture of sperm (produced in the testicles) and seminal fluid (produced in the prostate gland and seminal vesicles).
  • Sperm travels through the vas deferens, which are ducts that carry sperm from the testicles to the urethra (tube that runs through the penis and acts as a passage for urine and semen), where it mixes with semen.
  • During a vasectomy, the vas deferens is surgically disconnected and the ends are sealed.
  • Sperm is still produced in the testicles but cannot leave the testicles and become a part of the ejaculatory fluid. Without the presence of sperm, there is no risk of getting a partner pregnant.

What to expect with a no-scalpel vs. traditional vasectomy

No-scalpel vasectomy procedure

  • Local anesthetic is administered to the skin of the scrotum.
  • Instead of making an incision in the scrotum, the doctor makes a small puncture in the skin using a sharp, forceps-like instrument.
  • The skin is stretched gently to expose the vas deferens.
  • The vas deferens is cut and the ends are sealed by cauterization.
  • The puncture closes immediately after the procedure without the need for stitches.

Traditional vasectomy procedure

  • Local anesthetic is administered to the skin of the scrotum.
  • Small incisions are made in the skin of the scrotum.
  • The vas deferens is cut and the ends are sealed by cauterization.
  • The incisions are closed with stitches.
DifferencesNo-scalpel vasectomyTraditional vasectomy
Time taken20-30 minutes20-30 minutes
DischargePatient can go home on the same dayPatient can go home on the same day
InvasivenessLess invasiveMore invasive
Recovery timeA few daysAt least a week
PopularityMore commonLess common
ComplicationsLess post-operative bruising and swelling, faster healingMore post-operative soreness, swelling, and bruising that lasts longer
BleedingMinimal bleeding during the procedureMore bleeding during the procedure
SuturesNot requiredRequired
Time taken to resume routine activitiesNormal activities are resumed fairly quicklyTime is needed before resuming normal activities
Infection riskLess risk of infection and hematoma (collection of blood in tissues)More risk of infection and hematoma

How effective is a vasectomy?

Vasectomy is a highly effective procedure with only 1% chance of failure. However, both no-scalpel vasectomy and traditional vasectomy are only fully effective a few months after the person. This is because sperm that were in the body can survive for many weeks, during which time a pregnancy is possible.

You will likely be asked to come in for a follow-up appointment 90 days after the vasectomy to check for remaining sperm. During this waiting period, it is best to use another form of birth control to avoid an unplanned pregnancy until your doctor confirms that your semen no longer contains live sperm.

Vasectomies can be reversed to restore fertility by reattaching the severed vas deferens. A vasectomy reversal is most effective when done within 10 years of the vasectomy.

Author

Surajit Jana.

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